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Duluth Grill, OMC Smokehouse set to re-open with changes

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DULUTH, MN -- Local favorite restaurants Duluth Grill and OMC Smokehouse announced this weekend they are re-opening for curbside service starting Wednesday, April 22nd.

Following Minnesota Governor Tim Walz's order last month, Tom Hanson not only closed down his restaurants but also ended curbside service.

At that time, Hanson said that it was there was just not enough business to sustain operations financially while keeping his 200 employees safe.

"We really weighed heavily, in the beginning, the responsibility of not asking our staff to come to work. We took that very seriously," said Hanson.

But starting Wednesday, customers will be able to get their favorite dishes from Duluth Grill and OMC Smokehouse again.

Duluth Grill will be focusing mainly on breakfast and lunch service with hopes of eventually being able to provide larger family-style meals to go.

They have also made some changes to their formerly expansive menu that meet customer demand and smaller staff changes.

Customers can call in their orders and pick them up at the restaurant or order through Food Dudes, an online delivery service.

Meanwhile, OMC Smokehouse will be open for dinner starting Wednesday as well.

Another restaurant owned by Hanson is Corktown Deli and Brews. Corktown will also be re-opening on Wednesday but under a new name with a menu change. This location will transition into OMC Express and Deli.

Managing partner Jeff Petcoff says the new business plan will offer a hybrid menu of OMC and Corktown favorites in a quick order ahead or grab-and-go style.

"It will be something that people can walk in really quickly, get a rack of ribs, and be out the door in less than 5 minutes. They can also still get their favorite sandwiches they have loved since we have opened as well," said Petcoff.

Hanson and Petcoff say the last month gave them time to re-evaluate their business and think about how they can be most successful moving forward and making adjustments during the coronavirus pandemic.

Hanson said that they will be bringing back around 20% of staff members at Duluth Grill to fill various roles. Meanwhile, at other locations, they are looking to bring back a majority of their kitchen staff to fill orders.

Bars and restaurants in Minnesota remain closed through May 4th under the governor's order.

Duluth Grill and OMC will be open for dine-in again at that time, but that Corktown Deli will continue to operate as the OMC Express and Deli.

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Natalie Grant

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