Mara Crombie and her husband, Bruce Peacock, opened the Ox and Crow Coffeehouse in downtown Mahtomedi about three years ago. The road construction that had blocked their shop for two years was finally over, and they looked forward this summer to serving more customers there and at the new coffee roastery site they recently leased in downtown Lake Elmo.
Then the state ordered their doors closed in March as the coronavirus outbreak took hold. Crombie said they didn’t feel comfortable staying open for takeout and didn’t think it was worth the risk of infection. The Ox and Crow had formed partnerships with local restaurants and a church but they, too, were forced to close because of coronavirus restrictions.