Your papers, please.
By Jeff Zeitler on Tuesday, January 18th, 2022
Your papers, please is something we won’t be saying.
The city of Minneapolis will require all bars and restaurants to do so starting this Wednesday, but we will be temporarily closing the taproom instead.
Why, you may ask? I’ll give several reasons:
First, the latest wave of the virus doesn’t seem to be letting up and all measures taken so far in other places- including the ones the city is imposing- seem to be ineffective. To protect ourselves, our employees and our customers, the safest thing is to simply not be open as a taproom.
Also, consider that we’re a small business, not a government entity or a non-profit. If we continue to exist, it’s because we make as much or more money than we spend by providing a product or service that people want. We have no special fountain of dedicated funding.
When (for example) we have to double our labor costs by posting a person at the door to check potential customers’ medical information, that makes us less able to continue as a viable business.
When the function of the extra person at the door is to turn away potential customers, that are in every other way legal purchasers of our product, that becomes even more of a problem. Especially when we, per city ordinance, are paying a much higher minimum wage than the surrounding suburbs to the person doing the turning away.
Ah, but the checking of passports is essential to keeping us all safe, you may say. And, indeed, it may keep the person with the passport safer by reducing their symptoms if they catch the disease that need not be named. But even the people at the top now acknowledge that the shots do not stop persons from catching or spreading the virus. The public health value of carrying out this sort of policy is questionable at best.
In other cities where this has been tried, there have been incidents of violence against the employees of restaurants and bars that have turned away healthy people without passports. That’s not something I’m willing to live with.
You may disagree- and I expect some of you will. Healthy disagreement is essential to the functioning of our society, but please do not take it out on our employees. You can email me personally at firstname.lastname@example.org. There are differing viewpoints within the company and I respect that. Ultimately though, I’m responsible for the taproom shutdown and the reasoning behind it, and am willing to defend this decision as needed.
Yes, we will continue online bottle sales and delivery. Yes, we will stay open on Saturday from 1-5 for takeaway bottle sales. 2022 CSA wine and growler pickups will be converted to deliveries during the taproom closure. But the taproom stays closed for now.
Thank you for your support during this difficult time.
Jeff and Gita Z.