If you're passing through Evansville, Minnesota and notice a flurry of activity at the Backroads Steakhouse that has you itching to report it for violating the COVID shutdown, don't.
Owner Mahrie Ohren revealed in a Facebook post Wednesday that the bar has been reported no fewer than six times since Nov. 21 by people assuming it's open for dine-in service during Gov. Tim Walz's four-week "pause," which is now being extended a further three weeks.
But as she explains, they aren't actually open for business, they've just been extremely busy fulfilling a huge number of takeout orders.
People are apparently assuming they're serving customers in person because "the lights were on" and "the parking lot had too many cars in it," per Ohren.
"This is a photo taken last Thursday night (see above) as we scrambled to fulfill the 125+ Burger/Shake specials while offering our regular menu as well," she wrote.
"19 gallons of ice cream later (ya'll are awesome!), our crew of EIGHT was all smiles, until the Douglas County Sheriff's Office called. We had been called in - again. (They were amazing by the way, they were simply doing their job.)
"My response? 'Come on in!' as we had nothing to hide. My point? The operation, even if only takeout, requires lighting and manpower."
She's asking anyone in the future to give them a call if they have any concerns rather than the police.
"Not only am I concerned for the health and safety of our community, but I am also incredibly concerned for the overall health and wellness of our AMAZING crew, especially over the holiday season," she wrote.
"Are rent/mortgages/utilities getting paid? Does everybody have food? Christmas gifts for their kiddos? Not to mention the obvious concern, can Backroads cover its bills? Licensing/utilities/payroll & sales taxes/loan payments - on 60% of our gross sales?
"It's difficult to navigate the murky waters of the pandemic, I get it. However, I ask that you not forget that, illness aside, many are suffering the collateral damage of COVID-19, and it's absolutely heartbreaking."