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People are back out and about! Photo: Brace Hemmelgarn/Minnesota Twins/Getty Images

Now that Gov. Tim Walz has laid out a plan for a full re-opening, businesses across the Twin Cities are following suit.

  • But don't expect life to immediately return to normal on May 28, when all business and gathering restrictions are lifted.

State of play: Re-opening takes time for restaurants, music venues and sporting events. And some business owners say they wish Walz would have given them more lead time to get ready.

Restaurants: The good news is that they will be unfettered by restrictions on May 28, but the bad news is that many are having a hard time finding enough workers.

  • With staffing shortages, Northbound Smokehouse can't open for lunch and Saint Dinette is not open on Mondays and Tuesdays, the two restaurants said on Twitter.
  • Look for some exciting newcomers that opened recently, including Jorge Guzmán's Petite León in Kingfield and Ann Kim's Sooki & Mimi in Uptown. Daniel del Prado opened two new spots: Sanjusan in Minneapolis and Josefina in Wayzata.
  • The Butcher's Tale, from the owners of Crave restaurants, is opening in the former Butcher & The Boar spot on Hennepin Avenue on Wednesday.

Office buildings: Companies are finally bringing workers back to the office. Just last week, 23.3% of downtown Minneapolis employees went into the office. That's up from about 15% over the last several months, according to the Minneapolis Downtown Council.

Sports: The Twins can now hold up to 40,000 people at Target Field and will gradually up their capacity. The Wild will have 4,500 fans for a while and could go as high as 20,000 if they stay alive in the playoffs.

  • The July 22-24 3M Open in Blaine will no longer have to limit its attendance to 10,000 and can fill up its pricey VIP tents.

Concerts: Music venues were happy to see the restrictions lifted, but First Avenue GM Nate Kranz told the Star Tribune that he wishes the announcement came earlier because the company's venues need time to staff up and book shows.

  • For the rest of the summer, First Avenue will focus on booking local and regional acts and then in September the touring acts will be back.

Theater: It takes a long time to ramp up to put on a play or musical, so theaters don't have shows booked until the fall.

  • Hennepin Theater Trust brings back Broadway shows in October and the Guthrie starts A Christmas Carol in November.
  • In the meantime, Hennepin Theater Trust is trying to book bands for this summer in hopes that it will make sense for some touring acts to add a Minneapolis stop, said spokesman Dale Stark.

Bottom line: The Twin Cities is coming back to life, but slowly.

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Go deeper

The future of weddings is hybrid

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

The post-pandemic obsession with hybrid events and classrooms and offices is coming to weddings too.

Why it matters: The average wedding in the U.S. costs about $30,000, and the biggest cost comes down to headcount. The pandemic ushered in a new way of celebrating the big day, with the nearest and dearest in attendance and the rest on Zoom — and that model will outlast the pandemic itself.

NBC readies streaming push for Tokyo

NBCUniversal

NBCUniversal will stream some of the most popular Olympics sporting events exclusively on its new streaming service Peacock, executives said Wednesday.

Driving the news: Most notably, USA Men’s Basketball live coverage will be available only to subscribers of Peacock's premium paid tier.

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In shift from Netanyahu, Israel tries diplomacy with U.S. on Iran deal

Bennett (R) and Lapid. Photo: Emmanuel Dunand/POOL/AFP via Getty

Israel has been trying to influence the Biden administration's approach to the Iran nuclear deal in a series of high-level meetings with U.S. officials, Israeli officials tell me.

Why it matters: Under former Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Israel didn't engage with the Biden administration over the deal except to vehemently oppose it and stress that Israel wouldn't be constrained by it. Prime Minister Naftali Bennett and his new government also oppose the deal, but are trying to engage with the U.S. on the issue.