(Alexandria, MN)  The newest restaurant in Alexandria officially opened their doors this past Monday, but it’s ownership says due to a staffing shortage, lunch service is no longer available, for now.

After a busy first week, it has become apparent that Longtrees Woodfire Grill simply does not have the staff in place to provide first rate service and top notch food for both lunch and dinner services.

Because of this, only happy hour and dinner will be offered until further notice. Effective immediately, the restaurant will open for happy hour at 3pm daily, with dinner service beginning at 4:30.

Closing hours remain at 10pm and 11pm on weekdays and weekends respectively. Co-owner Abby Rakun says, “This is not a choice any business wants to make, however it is the right choice in order to do what we set out to do, and that is to provide quality food and service.” For now, they invite everyone to join them for dinner daily and they look forward to a time when they are fully staffed and ready to offer lunch once again.

Abby says, “We’ve trained an amazing staff and they are doing everything they can to offer prompt, knowledgeable, above and beyond service, but the reality is that we just don’t have enough employees to fulfill our initial operating hours and have found hiring more people to be a major challenge. Our struggle to find adequate staff is not a unique one.”

The restaurant and hospitality industries were among the hardest hit by the pandemic. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the restaurant and bar industry lost 5.5 million jobs from March to April of 2020 and as those jobs are returning, the workforce simply isn’t there. Federal unemployment benefits are keeping workers home and financial need or uncertainty has forced many hospitality workers out of the industry. This is a nation-wide struggle for restaurants and bars and all we can do is make the best of the staff we do have.

Rakun adds, “While we would love to be able to say with certainty when we will be bringing lunch back, at this time we will just be focusing our energies on making sure our dinner offerings are the best they can be. We appreciate the public’s support, patience, and understanding as we get through this uncomfortable and difficult period. “