Mankato Shuts Down Bar Patio over Flowers
By Joe Steck – Mankato Times
MANKATO, MINN. — Marty Lewis, owner of Blue Bricks, 424 S Front St. in the City Center of Mankato was shocked to find that he had to close down the patio at Blue Bricks on Thursday, May 28th due to not having enough live plants.
“My managers told me that City of Mankato Associate Civil Engineer Landon Bode came into Blue Bricks on Thursday during lunch hour and told the servers that we did not have enough flowers on our patio and we were out of compliance with the City,” said Lewis “After the lunch crowd cleared, my managers went up to Drummers and picked up some shrubs, planters and hanging baskets and put them on the patio.”
Wanting to make sure Blue Bricks was in compliance, Lewis then called City of Mankato Associate Civil Engineer Landon Bode, who did not answer his phone and left a message.
“Landon Bode did not return my calls and I assumed that everything would be alright,” said a frustrated Lewis “Then at around 5:30 p.m. that day, two Mankato Police Officers came into the restaurant and told me that the patio was closed and we would have to clear the patio because we were out of compliance.”
So Lewis told his clientele that they could eat inside, but they had to leave the patio because they did not have enough plants on the patio.
“People were laughing when I told them,” said Lewis “We then had to remove the furniture from the patio and close it off until the plant police said it was ok for us to reopen.”
Thursday night was beautiful with the temperature in the 70’s, perfect weather to sit outside and have a meal and a beverage.
“I was very upset because people wanted to sit outside and enjoy the weather,” he said “I called Landon Bode and he did not return my calls so my customers went elsewhere to drink outside, costing me and the servers a lot of money.”
Old Crow Medicine Show and The Devil Makes Three played at the Vetter Stone Amphitheater and many in that crowd came to the bars downtown after the concert. Lewis was unable to accommodate his regular customers because his patio was shut down due to not enough plants.
The next day, Lewis again called City of Mankato Associate Civil Engineer Landon Bode and sent a few emails trying to get him to inspect the patio to get it reopened. Lewis did not want another day of business hurt with a shut down patio.
“Landon Bode did not return my call or answer my emails,” said Lewis “Around 11:45 two City workers came down, looked at the plants and the patio and said that we were ok. It was a girl and some other young guy, not Bode who did the inspection.”
Lewis said that the shutdown started because of a May 15 email which was supposedly sent out by Director of Community Development Paul Vogel reminding businesses with patio’s that they had until May 25th to meet the landscape deadlines.
“I never received the email and if they sent out a regular letter I never received the either.” said Lewis
The Patio at Blue Bricks is again open for business.