East Grand Forks bar plans to reopen Wednesday despite governor's order

The owner is reopening for dine-in customers, which defies Gov. Tim Walz's executive order.

The Boardwalk Bar and Grill is reopening Wednesday afternoon in defiance of Gov. Tim Walz's executive order that temprarily prohibits dine-in service at bars and restaurants. 

The East Grand Forks establishment posted on Facebook Wednesday, saying they're "excited" to open at 4 p.m. Wednesday for dine-in services. 

The Boardwalk also plans to be open on Tuesdays through Thursdays going forward. 

The Star Tribune spoke with Boardwalk owner Jane Moss, who called Walz's four-week closure "unconstitutional" and "unlawful."

She also told the paper that it's a "slap to our face" to see them struggling while restaurants in North Dakota are prospering. The Boardwalk is just across the Red River from North Dakota, which does not have restrictions on bars and restaurants. 

The Boardwalk is not the only establishment that is openly defying the governor's order. 

Havens Garden in Lynd, southwest of Marshall in Lyon County, continues to serve food and drink to customers in person, and host live music, despite having its license suspended by Southwest Health and Human Services last Wednesday, Dec. 2.

Larvita McFarquhar, who owns Havens Garden, also called the executive order unconstitutional.

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Meanwhile, a southeastern Minnesota gym stayed open despite the executive order. Earlier this month, the Attorney General's office obtained a court injunction requiring a gym to shut down.

The four-week "pause" announced by Gov. Walz last month requires bars and restaurants to cease dine-in service until Dec. 18, with the move taken amid surging COVID-19 cases in the state, and with crowded bars considered to be a source of transmission.

Businesses that violate the executive order may face fines of up to $25,000 plus costs for each occurrence.

The governor is expected to announce this week whether the "pause" will be extended. 

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