One-point-seven-five-million square feet of silence. That’s what U.S. Bank Stadium was on Sunday. Sometimes it felt eerie. Sometimes it felt sleepy.

Sometimes it felt like an early morning high school state playoff game, without the small roars when a team scored. Except the players on the field make millions of dollars.

What U.S. Bank Stadium wasn’t was electric. Downtown Minneapolis had the feeling of a cool, casual Sunday morning in May. No tailgating, no Vikings and Packers fans hurling (sometimes) good-natured jabs at each other’s teams.

Don’t get us wrong. It’s great to have football back. We just wish fans could be back at football.

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Canned cocktails

While cocktails in a can aren't new, they are becoming increasing popular. Store managers say they can't keep canned mai tais, gin and tonics and margaritas on the shelves. Consumers say It's all about convenience and portability, but we doubt a canned old fashioned will ever taste the same as one mixed by hand with muddled sugar and a fresh slice of orange.

But, we'll give canned concoctions a thumbs up for convenience sake. Now. where is that bottle of bitters?

Pandemic challenges

A lot of Rochester retailers and restaurants are reeling from the pandemic, road construction and other obstacles to business. But there are also those who are moving ahead.

Earlier this month, Kam Talebi opened his 11th Crave concept restaurant. “We were already in the middle of construction in early March. We made the decision to keep going,” Talbei said of the new eatery in the old Holiday Inn on South Broadway.

Marcus Theatres in Rochester has reopened under new safety guidelines. And Chef Youness Bojji and his wife, Amber Bojji, who recently closed their Casablanca Creative Cuisine & Wine restaurant., are rolling out plans for a new restaurant in the historic Avalon building on North Broadway.

And Steve Burggraf, owner of Minnesota-based Burggraf's Ace Hardware, plans to build out a 10,000-square-foot store in the Barlow Plaza shopping center. It will be his 10th store.

Make no mistake, a lot of businesses are struggling, but thumbs up to those who are finding ways to meet the challenges.