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Axios Twin Cities
Updated Jan 14, 2022 - News

Questions about Twin Cities indoor dining vaccine mandates, answered

Illustration of a loon with a word balloon with a question mark coming out of its mouth.
Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

Vaccine-or-test mandates for indoor dining go into effect in Minneapolis and St. Paul on Wednesday, Jan. 19. Here are answers to some common questions on the orders:

Q: Are all restaurants covered by the requirement?

A: No, St. Paul's order only covers establishments licensed by the city. That means coffee shops, fast food chains and other places that do not serve alcohol are exempt, according to the Pioneer Press.

Torey Van Oot
Updated Jan 14, 2022 - News

Minneapolis and St. Paul to require vaccine or test for indoor dining

Illustration of a fork, knife and syringe on a napkin.
Illustration: Shoshana Gordon/Axios

New vaccine-or-test requirements for indoor dining and drinking in Minneapolis and St. Paul take effect Wednesday.

The big picture: A growing number of major cities, including Boston, Chicago and New York, have instituted similar requirements in an effort to protect public health.

Yes, but: Questions about enforcement, logistics and effectiveness of the temporary measures here remain.

Audrey Kennedy
Updated Jan 14, 2022 - Food and Drink

Ties Lounge & Rooftop to open on Nicollet Mall in February

The exterior of a downtown Minneapolis. A sign with Ties Rooftop and Lounge is above the door.
Photo courtesy of Ties Lounge & Rooftop

A big and high-profile bar and restaurant space on Nicollet Mall is coming back to life this spring with new operators.

Driving the news: Ties Lounge & Rooftop is opening next month at 921 Nicollet Ave., the four-story, 15,000-square-foot building that formerly housed Randle’s and Rojo Mexican Grill.

Why it matters: It's the latest effort to reanimate a downtown Minneapolis β€” and particularly Nicollet Mall β€” that is struggling to recover from the pandemic as most of its major employers haven't brought their workers back to the office.

Nick Halter
Jan 14, 2022 - Politics

Rent control will be top issue for Minneapolis City Council

Elliott Payne
Elliott Payne is one of several council members pushing for a strict rent control policy. Photo courtesy of Elliott Payne

Several progressive Minneapolis City Council members are making a strict rent control ordinance their first big to-do at City Hall.

Why it matters: 53% of voters approved a ballot measure last November giving the new City Council power to enact some kind of rent control ordinance.

Ice mazes, ski competition and more in the Twin Cities this weekend

Illustration: Allie Carl/Axios

If you're feeling iffy about indoor events as Omicron prompts more cancellations, check out these four things to do outside this weekend.

🧊 Get lost in the 10-foot-tall walls of the Ice Palace Maze, which opens today in Stillwater. Bonus: finishers can go down a giant ice slide. $12-$20.

Torey Van Oot
Updated Jan 14, 2022 - Politics

Tracker: Minnesota Legislature's retirement count grows

Data: Minnesota Legislative Reference Library; Note: Senators were not up for re-election in 2014 or 2018; Five legislators intending to run for other offices excluded in 2022 for now; Chart: Kavya Beheraj/Axios

An expected wave of state legislative retirements is starting to swell ahead of the 2022 election.

What's happening: Fourteen state legislators have already announced that they won't seek re-election in November, per announcements and a tally kept by the Legislative Reference Library.

Plus: Five more legislators, including former Senate leader Paul Gazelka and House Majority Leader Ryan Winkler, are seeking other offices.

Why it matters: Retirements create open races that could reshape the Legislature with new voices.

Art Shanty Projects return to Minneapolis

A person in snowshoes walks on a frozen lake towards a group of small shanties.
Photo: Art Shanty Projects

After a four-year hiatus, the Art Shanty Projects β€” a village of mini-shacks designed by artists β€” are coming to frozen Lake Harriet, starting Saturday.

What's happening: This year's 18 unique shanties include a spot for visitors to throw ice sculptures, a booth to play with giant bird puppets and a free store offering winter gear for those in need.

Torey Van Oot
Updated Jan 12, 2022 - News

Twin Cities suburbs take a pass on mask mandates

The circle with a slash emoji repeated on a blue background, with one mask emoji illuminated off-center.
Illustration: Maura Losch/Axios

Minneapolis and St. Paul largely stand alone when it comes to reviving mask mandates in response to rising Omicron cases.

Driving the news: The Duluth City Council became the latest Minnesota city government to reject a mandate Monday night.

  • Local leaders in Bloomington passed a resolution this week encouraging, but not requiring, residents and visitors to wear masks and follow other CDC and state health guidance on curbing COVID.

Why it matters: Masking β€” especially with an N95 or similar face coverings β€” in crowded indoor spaces is one of the best tools we have to prevent the virus' spread.

  • The cities of Hopkins and Golden Valley cited that reasoning in passing mask mandates of their own Tuesday night.