If you haven’t noticed, 2020 has been an unusual year for a plethora of reasons.
COVID-19 has turned everything upside down and the economic downturn further complicated matters.
Through all of this Wayzata’s business community has been in transition.
Businesses have moved or are in the process of moving out. Likewise there are other businesses moving in.
Of course this has happened in Wayzata for decades.
But 2020 feels different.
Bellecour Restaurant is one of the prominent businesses to leave town. It will be replaced with an Italian restaurant. Bellecour’s owner said it was a combination of the pandemic and the economy that closed the restaurant.
Meridian Manor went out of business after dozens of residents contracted COVID-19.
On April 18, the Minnesota Department of Health Emergency COVID-19 task force directed Meridian Manor to transition all 59 residents to other providers after some residents and staff members contracted COVID-19. At least two of the residents died from the disease.
Initially when the pandemic hit last spring, restaurants and other businesses were not allowed to be open. Later on, take-out was an option. Eventually, they were able to open their doors with restrictions.
But these businesses weren't out of the woods yet. Several food establishments were forced to close temporarily when either employees or customers had tested positive for COVID-19. These include: The Wayzata Bar & Grill (Muni), Bellecour, Starbucks on Lake Street, Walgreens and the Wayzata American Legion.
Meanwhile, Merilou Boutique closed its doors in late August. L'More Chocolat has closed its Lake Street shop and relocated to downtown Minneapolis.
Lulu & Luigi will soon be replaced by Pacifier.
But change in the Wayzata business community is not all about businesses leaving town.
Grocer's Table opened its doors earlier this year at the corner of Lake and Broadway.
Additionally, change is brewing at the Promenade.
Ownership is working with the city to allow more types of businesses to sign leases. In general, it has been difficult to entice businesses to move to the Promenade. A closer evaluation of zoning rules may help.
Eventually, those "for lease" signs around town will be taken down as new businesses make Wayzata their home.
It will be interesting to see how the complexion of the Wayzata business community changes in the coming months and into 2021.