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Metro Restaurants Closing During Heat Wave To Protect Kitchen Staff

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) -- With the heat wave, some indoor spaces simply can't stay cool -- and it's keeping some professionals out of the kitchen.

WCCO has seen a few places announce online Thursday that they're closing or closing early because it's just too hot in the kitchen.

On Instagram, south Minneapolis spot Petite Leon announced it was closing Thursday morning. The restaurant said temperatures in its kitchen were pushing 110 degrees.

"We just don't feel it's safe for our staff or our guests to stay open," Petite Leon said.

The restaurant said it would call those with reservations to help reschedule and would reopen Friday.

Minnetonka Drive In said on Facebook it would close at 8 p.m.

We will be closing at 8pm tonight due to the excessive heat. The nature of our business and the age of our building...

Posted by Minnetonka Drive In on Thursday, June 10, 2021

"The nature of our business and the age of our building makes it impossible to keep it cool," the restaurant said.

The old saying goes, 'If you can't take the heat, get out of the kitchen." But that wasn't an option for Gustavo Romano and his team at Nixta in northeast Minneapolis when the air conditioner went out on Saturday.

"I think the heat wave just kind of break everything," Romano said.

He closed the shop Thursday while the AC was fixed, but he's been working without it. The kitchen is topping out at nearly 100 degrees.

"It's really hard to have people to work in these conditions," Romero said.

The AC was out at Nixta for almost a week, and even hours after the crew came to fix it the thermostat was still at 92 degrees.

Restaurant Workers
(credit: CBS)

Romero said the crew took lots of breaks, drank lots of water -- and beer from breweries nearby -- and when that didn't work, they took short breaks in the cooler to get a little relief.

It was plenty cool at the bar inside The Lexington in St. Paul Thursday, where Bill Coy is manager.

"We should just have on our menu that we have air conditioning because right now that's about all people care about," Coy said.

It was a little different story in the kitchen, but nothing too unusual for this crew.

"Got the air conditioner cranked as high as it will go, and these guys are drinking an awful lot of water," Coy said.

Even as the sizzle outside matches the one in the kitchen, a few people sitting on the rooftop couldn't help themselves.

"Minnesotans are desperate to sit outside," Coy said. "We have had people call, you know, 'Is your rooftop open?' I say, 'Yeah, if you want to sit closer to the sun,'" Coy said.

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