Minneapolis restaurant giving back after getting hit hard by pandemic, riots

Modern Times gained help from the government to get through the pandemic and the riots in Minneapolis, so now they've changed their business model to benefit the community.

Forced to close during the COVID-19 pandemic, a restaurant in Powderhorn Minneapolis has reopened after more than a week of civil unrest.

Modern Times is operating a new business model that will benefit the community.

Six blocks north of the intersection where George Floyd was killed by Minneapolis Police, Modern Times isn’t operating business as usual.

In a community ravaged by rioters, owner Dylan Alverson says the priority right now is to give back.

“Myself and the staff are all volunteering for the month and we’re donating all of the proceeds from food and drink in the restaurant to some local charities,” Alverson said.

Before the unrest, like most restaurants, Modern Times was hit hard by the pandemic. The mortgage payment for the month of June was furloughed.

“We got a bunch of help from the government, so we’ve kind of secured our base needs for a while and, right now, making money is not our priority,” Alverson added.

The restaurant, also running a sliding-fee scale system, is giving patrons the option to pay what they can. For Alverson, it’s about putting people before profits.

“I think that it helps solidify that when you are a neighborhood restaurant, that you are not moving into a neighborhood to profit, but you are becoming a part of the neighborhood,” he said. “And that is what we try to stand for.”

Alverson is hoping to donate more than $20,000 to businesses and organizations working to rebuild. He’s also seeking out more partnerships to help provide lunch to those on the front lines of this movement.