Plan. Launch. Grow. Serving Minneapolis Small Businesses

Small business 3

Wednesday, January 13, 2021

Minneapolis Bar Seating Guidance

As you are aware, on January 11, 2021, indoor dining has returned per Minnesota EO 21-01. Since Minneapolis Emergency Order 20-17 is still in effect, we have received many questions regarding the reopening and how seating in a bar area differs. We have put together a frequently asked questions section to address bar counter service in the City of Minneapolis.


  • I don’t have servers. Can orders be placed at the bar counter?
    • Orders may be placed at the bar counter. The order must be picked up and taken back to a table for consumption. Any queue for ordering must be managed to meet social distancing requirements and masking of customers. There is to be no seating or congregating at the bar counter.
  • My restaurant does not sell alcohol. Can I have customer seated at my counter?
    • Minneapolis Emergency Order 20-17 only applies to establishments who sell alcohol. If you are a food only establishment with a food counter, customers may be seated there for service following the state guidelines of 2 per party with 6 feet between parties.
  • Is it allowed to have customers pick up their to go orders at my bar counter?
    • Bar counters may be used as a takeout or pick up location.  Any queue for ordering must be managed to meet social distancing requirements. There is to be no seating or congregating at the bar counter.
  • I have plexiglass partitions on my bar counter that separates staff from customers. Is seating allowed?
    • Barriers, plexiglass or otherwise do not allow for bar counter seating.  The Minnesota Department of Health has indicated in November 2020 and again in January 2021 that plexiglass is not allowed on the bar counter.
  • Can I pull a two top or other table to the bar and have seating at the table?
    • If the table is perpendicular to the bar counter and the customers are seated like a booth, then it is allowed; however, food and/or beverages may not be delivered over the counter. Waitstaff must bring it around to the table or it can be picked up at a designated location.

For questions about configuring your bar area to be compliant, please contact your area Liquor License Inspector.

For more information, view complete guidance from the City of Minneapolis and the State of Minnesota Industry Guidance.  

LINC (Liquor Industry and the City)

On Wednesday January 20, 2021 at 2 p.m., Business Licensing will be hosting our monthly LINC meeting. For this first meeting, staff will be available to discuss re-opening regulations and any other Covid-19 related business questions.  This meeting is virtual and open to anyone who is interested.

Microsoft Teams meeting
Join on your computer or mobile app
Click here to join the meeting

Or call in (audio only)
+1 612-276-6670,,853143756#   United States, Minneapolis
Phone Conference ID: 853 143 756#
Find a local number

Upcoming Training

Paycheck Protection Program Update

Brian McDonald, District Director
Minnesota District Of­fice, U.S. Small Business Administration
Registration and more info
Presented by the Minneapolis Regional Chamber and Twin West Chamber of Commerce
Thursday, January 14, 2021
2:00 – 3:00 p.m.

In late December, a second COVID-19 relief package became law which included $284 billion for Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans. These loans, administered by the SBA,are designed to help businesses keep their workforce employed during the continued Coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis. Brian McDonald, District Director of the Minnesota District Office for the U.S. Small Business Administration will provide highlights from the Economic Aid Act that enhance and change many programs across SBA as well as the next version of the PPP program.

Small Business COVID-19 Relief Update

Featuring Davis Senseman, Davis Law Office
Presented by the Minneapolis Regional Chamber
Sponsored by the City of Minneapolis Business Technical Assistance Program
Friday, January 15, 2021
10:00 – 11:00 a.m.
Registration and more info

HR 133, the most recent small business COVID relief bill, has a number of opportunities for support shuttered venues and completely new and important improvements to the Employee Retention Tax Credit. Join Davis Senseman for a high-level discussion of all of these programs and a deeper dive into the ERTC tax credits!

City of Minneapolis logo

For reasonable accommodations or alternative formats please contact

People who are deaf or hard of hearing can use a relay service to call 311 at 612-673-3000. TTY users can call 612-673-2157 or 612-673-2626.

Para asistencia 612-673-2700, Yog xav tau kev pab, hu 612-673-2800, Hadii aad Caawimaad u baahantahay 612-673-3500.