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Blue City restaurants were hungry for diners while Florida feasted

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Right now, American restaurants are famine or feast. 

Global data show that in 2020, establishments in blue cities facing both COVID-19 over-restrictionsand violent protests hungry for

According to the same source, the Sunbelt boomtowns of Florida, Texas and Arizona are busier than ever,with a significant surge in restaurant business this year 16}

The distance between the two is staggering. 

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Daily diners in the city of Minneapolis fell an average of 54.3% in July. People eating out compared to July 2019, according to OpenTable. 

It's the worst recovery of any city in the world tracked by a restaurant reservation service.

Charles Stotts and wife Kacey White, owners of Town Talk Diner on Lake Street in Minneapolis, watch as water pours out of their restaurant on Thursday, May 28, 2020. The building was looted the night before. "We have our whole lives tied into this restaurant," said Stotts. 

Charles his Stots and his wife Casey White , owner of Town Talk Thursday, May 28, 2020 at a diner on his street in Lake Minneapolis. Watch the water run out of the restaurant. The building was looted the night before. "Our lives are tied to this restaurant," Stotts said.  (Andy Rathbun/MediaNews Group/St. Paul Pioneer Press via Getty Images)

Floridameanwhile, Minneapolis , accounting for four of the top six fastest-growing cities in the United States, with the average number of people dining out in Miami, Fort Lauderdale, Naples and Tampa growing nearly 30% from July 2019 to July 2022. Increased. 

"Minneapolis" needs to clean up that act," Minnesota businessman Greg Urban, who owns Wild Gregg's Saloon in Minneapolis, told Fox News Digital. Told. 

He also operates three themed nightlife hotspots in Austin, Texas. Pensacola, Florida. and Lakeland, Florida. 

"People don't feel safe. They don't feel safe coming to Minneapolis. This is a public safety issue right now."


Minneapolis enacted a two-year, executive-ordered lockdown policy beginning in March 2020. The 

order included his two periods of takeout-only options extended statewide. is for Spring 2020 and his Winter 2020-21 restaurants. 

The city also enacted a vaccine mandate for restaurants in January 2022 and lifted it in February after facing lawsuits from local businesses. Last year I almost voted to stop funding the police. And it's in the midst of a massive crime surge. 

Minnesota nearly voted to defund its police last year. It's also in the midst of a massive crime surge right now.

Minnesota cut police funding last year. I voted to remove it. We are also currently in the midst of a massive crime surge.

"We are about to be killed in Minneapolis," Urban said. "People don't feel safe. They don't feel safe coming to Minneapolis. It's a public safety issue right now." 

Struggling to recover The list of bottom 10 cities is rounded out by San Francisco (-45.9%), Portland (-45.2%), Seattle (-40.8%) and Philadelphia (-39.2%). , New York City (-37.9%), St. Louis (-28.2%), Washington D.C. C. (-27.3%), Baltimore (-24.9%), Chicago (-22.8%).  

By contrast, many cities across the country are thriving, with Florida in particular significantly outstripping the number of people eating out in 2019. 


Las Vegas tops the list in July, with an increase in the number of daily diners, an average of 35.7% compared to July 2019. 

Sin City followed by Fort Lauderdale (+34.0%), Miami (+32.8%), Austin (+27.3%) and Naples (+25.4). %) follows. %), Tampa (+22.3%), Nashville (+19.2%), San Antonio (+18.6%), Scottsdale (+18.0%) and Phoenix (+14.3%). , named as the top 10 cities with a booming restaurant scene this summer.  

Wild Greg's Saloon in Austin, Texas, has been packed since opening in May 2021. Greg Urban also owns one saloon in Minneapolis and two in Florida. Business is down more than 50% at his Minneapolis operation, yet up more than 30% at his Florida establishments compared with pre-COVID numbers. 

Wildgregg's in Austin, Texas Saloon Greg Urban also owns one saloon in Minneapolis and he has two in Florida. His Minneapolis business is down more than 50% of his, while his Florida office is up more than 30% compared to his pre-COVID numbers.  (Courtesy of Greg Urban, Wild Greg's Saloon)

"This data set provides information to OpenTable about all restaurants. It's based on a sample of 20,000 restaurants, part of our inventory in states or metropolitan areas with more than 50 restaurants on the OpenTable network," the reservation service told Fox News Digital. 

"I'm leaving for the race in Florida," said saloon owner Urban. 

His own experience mirrors the data presented by OpenTable. 

The number of people dining out in Miami, Fort Lauderdale, Naples and Tampa increased by nearly 30% from July 2019 to July 2022. 

Business at his two hotspots in the Sunshine State grew by about 30% compared to the pre-pandemic year of 2019, while in Minneapolis he was up 50%. has been reduced "beyond" the . 

He opened Austin in his 2021, so there is no pre-pandemic data to compare. 

Florida is "totally the place. Entire countries flocked to Florida to escape lockdowns to Texas."

A restaurant owner in Florida posted a petition asking Biden supporters to "move their business elsewhere."

"Even Democratic politicians I went to ," he added.

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) was photographed partying inMiami without a mask in January 2022. country.

Ocasio-Cortez was spotted in Florida with her boyfriend in January 2022 amid a coronavirus spike in NYC, in a photo published by National Review. 

Ocasio-Cortez with her boyfriend It was discovered in Florida in January 2022, as the coronavirus surged in New York City, in a photo released by the National Review.  (National Review/Anonymous)

About 4,500 restaurants have closed in New York City alone, according to the New York State Restaurant Association.

Also, Andrew Riggie of the New York City Hospitality Alliance told Fox News his digital. 

"Many complained about the constant changes in city, state and federal regulations. It was an impossible situation."

165} “Certainly, some [COVID] policies made sense and some didn’t make sense or lasted too long,” Lizzie said. 

Hot Dogs in New Jersey His restaurant designer DAWGS nearly devastated by his COVID

state and federal regulation. It was an impossible situation," he said.

Not in Sunshine State.

"Florida quickly returned to normal, avoiding the harsh lockdowns seen in other parts of the country," said Jeff Luebkeman, spokesman for the Florida Restaurant and Lodging Association. he told Fox News Digital.

A busy dining scene in Bal Harbour, Florida, in summer 2022. 

Bal Harbor, Florida Bustling Dining Scene 2022 summer.  (Jeffrey Greenberg/UCG/Universal Images Group via Getty Images)

"[Ron] Governor's Public Policy DeSantis enacted and, in some cases, attracted many people and many businesses here, which brought vitality to the market and a sense that one could just love life in Florida.

200}state's dining scene is being boosted by an influx of new residents and new businesses moving toSunshine State, as well as a growing desire among locals to enjoy the state's thriving dining scene Scene.

Famous New York City eateries like major food group Carbone and ZZ Sushi Bar are pushing their brands to Florida in 2021 as pandemic restrictions tighten elsewhere. opened stores in

Chicago's casual dining outpost Portillo's Hot Dogs is one of many others that have moved as well. 

The few eateries in the Blue City that have survived nasty lockdown policies, orders and moves to defund the police still face a long way to go. 

The Packard Building, an apartment building inside Seattle's so-called Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone, is seen damaged and vandalized in June 2020. Residents of the building appealed to city officials for assistance in the absence of a functioning law enforcement presence.

Apartments in Seattle's so-called Capitol Hill Borough suffered damage in June 2020. Occupants of the building have called city officials for assistance as law enforcement is not functioning.(Toby Scott/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images) )

The average Seattlerestaurant survived the pandemic because On average, $160,000 in debt, or he's three years of profits," reports the Washington Hospitality Alliance. 

Minnesota's numbers are even worse. 

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The average was $500,000,” Hospitality Minnesota spokesman Ben Wogsland told Fox News Digital. 

He said he was "not surprised" by the slow recovery in Minneapolis. 

Business travelers are still not returning to the city, he noted, while public safety concerns remain. 

Vandalism is seen in Minneapolis after looting by rioters. The handwritten sign on the window reads, "We are new owners. Please don't spray paint on the property. We are trying to fix the neighborhood."

mob. A handwritten sign on the window reads, "We are the new owners. Please do not spray paint on the property. We are trying to restore the neighborhood." (Fox 9)

He said the state's restaurant industry employs 25,000 fewer people today than it did in 2019. 

Government officials have promoted various so-called relief packages for the restaurant industry. In fact, they proved Boondoguru. 


Biden Administration has proposed a $26.8 billion restaurant revitalization to fund in 2021. But while 72% of applicants made him $0 from the program, the biggest dollars were often paid to the most famous chefs and businesses, according to the Small Business Administration.

Minnesota's restaurant industry currently has 25,000 fewer employees than it did in 2019. 

"David Chan's Momofuku, who owns luxury restaurants in New York City, and his group of Las Vegas, Los Angeles, and Toronto are hoarded with $6.9 million in taxpayer cash through the Foundation. The New York Post reported last year. 

Maria Morillo, an immigrant entrepreneur who runs a pizzeria on a Manhattan housing project, received just her $1,816.38 from her endowment. 

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Morillo "It's a shame," he told the Post at the time. 

"We are trying to run a small business here. But they don't care about us at all."

Kelly J. Byrne is his reporter for Fox News Digital's Lifestyle.