After a summer of unrest, a popular downtown Minneapolis establishment is getting set to reopen, John Lauritsen reports (1:56). WCCO 4 News At 6 - March 18, 2021
- After a summer of unrest, a popular downtown Minneapolis establishment is getting set to reopen. Brit's Pub was shut down last year when the pandemic first broke, then rioting and looting in August forced them to shut down again. John Lauritsen shows us what's changed at Brit's and what remains the same.
SHANE HIGGINS: The summer was going to be massive, we think. You know, there was a lot of soccer tournaments happening, which we do well, which everybody knows.
JOHN LAURITSEN: At the beginning of March last year, Brit's Pub was getting ready to celebrate its 30th year in downtown Minneapolis. Then COVID hit, bringing a shutdown and restrictions. Months later in August--
SHANE HIGGINS: The biggest damage was in here.
JOHN LAURITSEN: --rioters and looters broke inside after false rumors circulated that police had shot a black man on Nicollet Mall.
SHANE HIGGINS: [INAUDIBLE] and looting and damage, and set fire to-- this this room.
JOHN LAURITSEN: Shane Higgins and his crew have since cleaned up from fire, smoke, and water damage. There are new couches, carpeting, pool tables, and TVs. And on Friday at 4 o'clock, Brit's will once again open its doors.
SHANE HIGGINS: There's a bit of trepidation as well, obviously. But we're excited to get open and see some regular faces. And got a lot of goodwill, I think, in the city, and--
JOHN LAURITSEN: During a normal summer, Brit's would have 170 people on staff. They'll start with about 40 this weekend.
There were no lawn bowling leagues last summer, which is one of the things Brit's is best known for. Those will return this spring, along with the big screen for watching soccer games and yoga on the rooftop. For now they'll focus on just opening the inside, where the fish and chips will be waiting.
SHANE HIGGINS: It's time. Spring is here. Sunshine's coming. The vaccine's coming. There's a bit more confidence.
JOHN LAURITSEN: In Minneapolis, John Lauritsen, WCCO 4 News.
- Initially, Brit's will be open Thursday and Friday evenings and also all day Saturdays and Sundays. They're hoping to increase those hours soon. And they'll also be looking to hire more employees as the weather warms up.