Sleepy Eye is opening up, gradually

Deb Moldaschel
Clockwise from top: Youth sports may now practice outdoors with up to 25 people at a time, but no games yet. The Midget baseball team was on the practice field Monday evening, starting with conditioning drills.
Having lunch at the Sleepy Eye Coffee Company were pals Riley Haala and Jan Poirier. Both enjoy the Pix building -- Poirier and her husband Gene operated the movie theater for many years, eventually selling the building to Riley's grandpa Dave Haala, who sold it to the Ambrusters -- who brought it back to life. See the old movie projector -- "brings back many memories," said Poirier.
The City is getting the Sleepy Eye Family Aquatic Center ready to open on June 23. See SEFAC Manager Wendy Owens' column for more information.
Anytime Fitness reopened on Monday, June 15. Manager Angel Gessner and her staff were happy to welcome their members back to the gym.

On June 5 Governor Walz made the announcement many people had been waiting for — indoor dining, gyms, and indoor entertainment venues could open, with guidelines, on June 10. In addition, youth sports practices could be held outdoors with up to 25 participants (but, not games yet) and outdoor pools could also open.

Sleepy Eye’s affected businesses and youth programs had been keeping up-to-date on the guidelines they would need to follow, and began to put their plans in place. Not all were ready to jump in on June 10, but most have now started welcoming clients, customers, and kids.

Sports Writer Brandon Streich outlines what’s happening with a variety of youth sports in an article on page 6.

Kids, of all ages, have also eagerly been anticipating the opening of the pool. Sleepy Eye Family Aquatic Center Manager Wendy Owens has announced the pool will open on Tuesday, June 23. With the required guidelines for social distancing and cleaning protocols, several changes had to be made to the hours and activities. Owens’ column on page 2 outlines what to expect at SEFAC this summer.

Exercise enthusiasts in Sleepy Eye have been missing their gym time. Angel Gessner, Manager of Anytime Fitness, said the guidelines for their business including lots of cleaning and social distancing.

“We already cleaned the equipment and surfaces all the time. Now we are cleaning even more and have stronger cleaning solutions,” Gessner said. “Our guidelines to our members are the same as you find anywhere — stay home if you’re sick, wash your hands, and keep your distance from other working out.”

The Sleepy Eye City Council acted to allow sidewalk tables for bars and restaurants just the day before the indoor seating guidelines were announced. You might have noticed a couple of cute tables on the sidewalk in front of the Pix, but the managers of the Sleepy Eye Coffee Company and Sleepy Eye Brewing Company are very glad to be able to welcome patrons back inside.

Both new businesses had been offering take-outs during the pandemic shutdown and keeping smiles on their faces. Now that they can allow 50% occupancy inside, those smiles are even bigger.

With some tables removed and others spread out, S.E. Coffee Co. is again serving sweet treats and lunch time sandwichs, soups and salads. Reservations are required and takeouts are still offered.

The Sleepy Eye Brewing Company also began welcoming patrons back. Table reservations are also required.

Hours for both businesses in the Pix are posted on the door and on their Facebook pages.

Sleepy Eye’s Depot Museum missed it’s usual early May opening day, but is now open, as of June 17 — Wednesday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Museum Director Deb Joramo has guidelines in place and looks forward to welcoming local people and visitors.