Skip to main content

Attorney General Keith Ellison's office has settled pandemic-related lawsuits against two Minnesota restaurants accused of violating Gov. Tim Walz's executive orders. 

The central Minnesota chain Shady's and Boardway Bar and Grill in East Grand Forks were among the businesses the state took action against during the COVID-19 pandemic, and they've both agreed to pay tens of thousands of dollars to resolve the lawsuits. 

“The vast majority of restaurants and businesses around the state complied with the governor’s orders: they put the health and safety of their customers and community ahead of their profits, and I thank them for it," Ellison said in a statement. "They should not suffer unfair and illegal competition from other businesses just because they did the right thing. We continue to be committed to holding accountable those entities that put public safety at risk. I am pleased that these businesses finally chose to take responsibility for their actions."

Ellison's office settled its lawsuit against Shady's, which has six locations in Stearns, Benton and Todd counties, with the chain agreeing to pay $30,000 to the State of Minnesota for threatening to violate an executive order, per the consent judgement filed earlier this month

This settlement stems from Shady's widely publicizing threats to host hundreds of people for a reopening party in violation of an executive order that prohibited such activities. Ellison's office filed its first complaint in  May 2020, at which point the state obtained a temporary restraining order to prevent Shady's illegal reopening party. 

According to Ellison's office: 

"Shady’s brought counterclaims against the governor and other state officials, all of which were dismissed following opposition from the Attorney General’s Office. In August 2021, the Attorney General’s Office won summary judgment on its claims and was permitted to seek fees for its litigation costs."

As for the Boardwalk Bar and Grill, a consent judgement last month requires the restaurant to pay $25,000 for violating Gov. Walz's four-week dial back of restrictions last winter, as COVID cases, hospitalizations, and deaths were spiking statewide.

The attorney's office filed a lawsuit against Boardwalk for opening to in-person dining in December 2020. Ellison's office later won a temporary injunction. 

The restaurant was also required to serve a 30-day suspension of its liquor and food and beverage licenses in separate settlements with the Minnesota Departments of Public Safety and Health. 

Sign up: Subscribe to our BREAKING NEWS newsletters

Next Up

coronavirus, ICU, covid-19 hospital, doctor

4th teen COVID-19 death reported in MN is the 2nd in as many weeks

All four teenage COVID-19 deaths in the state have been reported in the past two months.

Anil Menon

Minnesota native named to NASA's new astronaut class

When he's done training, he could be sent to the space station or the moon.

broadway pizza interior facebook

Gallery: Original Broadway Pizza auctioning off everything

Get your hands on some classic Broadway signage, train-themed decor and more.

art shanty projects

Art Shanty Projects to return to Lake Harriet this winter

The festival has made some creative changes in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and climate change.

flickr - gov tim walz - mn senate dfl

After 'extraordinary' revenue growth, MN projects $7.7B surplus

But finance officials note there is still "significant risk" due to economic uncertainty.

amelia huffman

Deputy Chief Amelia Huffman named interim chief of the Minneapolis PD

She lives in Uptown and has been with the MPD for 27 years.

Pixabay - hospital emergency room sign

Deputy injured when fleeing suspect crashes into his vehicle

The 34-year-old deputy was taken by ambulance to a nearby hospital.

Vineeta Sawkar

Vineeta Sawkar named as WCCO Radio’s new morning host

She succeeds the legendary Dave Lee, who retired earlier this year.

coronavirus, COVID-19 test

Minnesota's COVID-19 update for Tuesday, December 7

The latest from the state health department.



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


AG Ellison settles lawsuit with hookah lounge after it violated Walz's executive orders

Hookah Hideout in Little Canada agreed to pay a $4,000 to the state.

the interchange

MN health department sues 2 restaurants for operating without a license

The restaurants in Albert Lea and Milaca had their licenses revoked after they violated the governor's COVID-19 executive orders.

Alibi Drinkery in Lakeville.

Here's a list of businesses the state has taken action against for violating COVID rules

As of Dec. 31, 2020, the state has taken action against more than 20 businesses that defied Gov. Walz's executive orders.


2 more bars see licenses suspended after violating COVID rules

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

Bar beer

Three more bars subject of lawsuits for violating COVID-19 rules

They are the latest to be sued by the Attorney General's Office.

Screen Shot 2021-01-09 at 8.21.11 AM

2nd MN restaurant found in contempt of court for violating Walz order

The Interchange in Albert Lea was found in contempt of court by Freeborn County District Court.

Screen Shot 2020-04-17 at 2.58.26 PM

Walz's order makes it easier for attorney general to investigate COVID-19 violations

The order gives the AG, county attorneys and city attorneys the ability to investigate violations and recoup costs.