The City of Northfield has denied a liquor license to Lisa Monet Zarza for her restaurant Alibi at Froggy Bottoms, which was based partly on her refusal to abide by Gov. Tim Walz's executive orders at her Lakeville restaurant.
The vote came after Northfield Police Chief Mark Elliott recommended the liquor license not be renewed, citing Alibi Drinkery's repeated violations of the governor's executive orders, including serving unmasked customers indoors, which led to lawsuits and license suspensions, according to City Council documents. Zarza also owns the Lakeville establishment.
In an investigative report prepared by Elliott, he said Zarza is ineligible for the liquor license in Northfield because of the preliminary suspension of her liquor license in Lakeville.
"Zarza is not an eligible person to receive a liquor license under applicable law since she is not a person of good moral character and repute. Further, this investigation has revealed that it is not in the public interest to issue the requested liquor license to a person who has willfully and intentionally violated state and local liquor licensing regulations, state executive orders, and district court orders, and was not truthful in a sworn affidavit submitted to a reviewing court," Elliott wrote.
Alibi Drinkery in Lakeville stayed open for business despite Gov. Walz's indoor bar service shutdown as cases, hospitalizations, and deaths from COVID-19 peaked in November. It was the subject of multiple legal actions from state authorities as it continued to serve customers, most of whom did not wear face masks.
Zarza did speak during the City Council hearing, calling the executive orders "unconstitutional" and argued people's rights were being wiped out, while bars and restaurants were being used as scapegoats. She said she'd comply with future executive orders.
In an April 13 Facebook post, the bar said it'll be opening for limited hours despite the City Council's "split" decision to grant the liquor license, "so we will have no alcohol but we are not letting them win!"
Alibi at Froggy Bottoms was first licensed by the city in 2019.