St. Paul bar will stay closed until Jan. 2 even if state-ordered 'pause' is lifted earlier

The Black Hart called the governor's order a "necessary frustration" amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Black Hart in St. Paul will remain closed until Jan. 2, even if Gov. Tim Walz decides not to extend an executive order that prohibits in-person service at bars and restaurants until Dec. 18. 

"The lack of clarity around potential reopening dates poses challenges, especially around the holidays. We have decided to reopen on Saturday, Jan. 2 (assuming the lockdown has been lifted)," the bar said in a tweet on Monday

In the meantime, the bar will have one more night of Curbside Drag from 5-9 p.m. Dec. 18 and will be open from 5-8 p.m. on New Year's Eve for takeout beer, wine and champagne. 

The Black Hart called the shutdown a "necessary frustration," noting they want everyone to be safe. Adding, "When we're in the middle of the worst part of a global pandemic, it means a lot of sacrifice."

The bar's owner, Wes Burdine, has been outspoken in support of the need for COVID-related restrictions on businesses, gaining attention for a Twitter thread in November that criticized Senate Majority Leader Paul Gazelka, R-East Gull Lake, and other Republicans throwing "hissy fits" about mask mandates and other government-ordered restrictions while hosting events possibly linked to the spread of the virus. 

Although he's supportive of the pandemic-related shutdowns – he's said on Twitter the pandemic is keeping people from going to bars, not the governor's orders – he has criticized the governor for his last-minute announcements on restrictions, which makes it difficult for establishments to plan for staffing and inventory. 

Gov. Walz is expected to announce on Wednesday whether the four-week "pause" will be extended beyond Dec. 18. He previously was going to make the announcement on Friday and then Monday before pushing it to Wednesday. 

It comes as lawmakers meet for a special session Monday to discuss a relief package for COVID-hit businesses and workers.

Follow Bring Me The News on News Break

Burdine's attitude toward the government-ordered shutdowns is vastly different from the more than 150 bars and restaurants across the state that plan to reopen prior to Dec. 18 in defiance of the governor's order (some have already reopened and have been fined or have had their liquor license suspended). Burdine has criticized those establishments, too. 

"How many of these companies [expletive] about the Walz and the lockdown are taking county and city grants? Just got notification we got a small grant from the city and the fact that local government is helping keep us from having to sell to a developer is awesome," he tweeted on Dec. 9

The Black Hart noted that it is grateful for the City of St. Paul and Ramsey County "that have done such great jobs of helping keep us afloat" and for supporters who have bought T-shirts or otherwise supported the bar. The bar notes those who are interested can contribute to a holiday tip pool for its bartenders by sending contributions to on PayPal. 

The latest forecast from Sven Sundgaard

Next Up


State Patrol investigating fatal crash near Duluth

The crash was reported around 6:15 a.m. Wednesday.

eden prairie police squad car

Carjacking reported outside shopping center in Eden Prairie

One of the suspects reportedly displayed a weapon.

court gavel

8 people charged in Medicaid fraud scheme totaling $860K

Collectively, they're charged with 46 counts of felony theft.


Minnesota gets mixed grades on its tobacco report card

In Minnesota, the economic cost due to smoking is $2.519 million with 5,910 deaths per year attributed to smoking.

Hardy Wills-Traxler

Charges: Man stabbed his father, set his home on fire

The 25-year-old has been charged with second-degree murder and first-degree arson.

Impound lot

Crowded impound lot raises COVID concerns after Minneapolis snow emergency

A vehicle owner complains about the tightly-packed impound lot following the weekend's snow.

covid-19, coronavirus

Here is Minnesota's COVID-19 update for Wednesday, Jan. 27

The latest update from the state health department.


Charges: Bar owner, employee served underage drinkers during shutdown

The bar hosted 20-30 people on Dec. 4, 2020, charges say.

police lights

Driver wearing bulletproof vest strikes pedestrian in Rochester

The 21-year-old claimed the vest keeps him warm, according to police.


al's breakfast

Minneapolis joint named to Esquire's list of restaurants we can't lose

Al's has been fundraising to stay afloat amid the COVID-19 pandemic.


Bars, restaurants allowed to reopen for indoor dining Monday

Party sizes will be limited and reservations are required.


2 more bars see licenses suspended after violating COVID rules

Gov. Walz on Wednesday will announce loosened restrictions on indoor dining.


St. Paul bar now offers curbside takeout with 'drag delivery'

The Black Hart has found fun twist on the COVID-19 restrictions.

Alibi Drinkery in Lakeville.

Judge: Alibi Drinkery will be fined $3K for every day it stays open

The Lakeville bar reopened in mid-December and has been the subject of several actions by the state for defying orders.

Saint Dinette

Saint Dinette halts takeout until 'path is more clear'

The popular St. Paul restaurant says it'll be "back better than ever."

Screen Shot 2020-12-01 at 10.59.59 AM

Handsome Hog in St. Paul to close temporarily

Executive chef Justin Sutherland cited inaction by state and federal leaders during the COVID-19 pandemic.


Monticello restaurant will pay profits to state after violating COVID order

The Minnesota Attorney General's Office has settled a lawsuit it filed against Cornerstone Cafe in Monticello