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Court orders Alibi Drinkery to close down after AG's lawsuit

The Lakeville Bar is open again on Thursday.
Alibi Drinkery in Lakeville.

A district court has approved a temporary injunction against Alibi Drinkery in Lakeville, requiring it to close down for dine-in service through Jan. 10.

The Lakeville bar reopened several times in defiance of Gov. Tim Walz's COVID-19 executive order banning indoor food and drink service, which was extended until Jan. 11.

The bar was served with a lawsuit by Attorney General Keith Ellison as well as notice of a 60-day license suspension, but continued to stay open until Dec. 26, when it said it was closing as it awaits the judge's decision.

It did however say it was reopening at 11 a.m. on New Year's Eve, only for Ellison to reveal the Dakota County District Court granted the  temporary injunction.

If Alibi Drinkey remains open between now and Jan. 10, it will risk being found in civil contempt of court, and could see its liquor license revoked by the Minnesota Department of Public Safety.

In the court ruling, released shortly before 9 a.m., the order reads: "Freedom means to most Americans the ability to do what we want subject to two simple limitations: first, that our activities are legal and second what we are doing doesn’t cause harm to others.

"The actions of the Defendant in this time of unprecedented disease transmission, illness, and death are both against the law and harmful. Their blatant and intentional defiance of the law is directly promoting the spread of COVID-19, exposing their customers and employees to disease.

"Further this transmission immediately becomes the problem of others in the health care system, compounded in its effect by being brought home, to work, etc. In addition, they are exploiting the good conduct of others in the community who are following the law."

Ellison said: "I thank the thousands of Minnesota bars and restaurants that have done the right thing and met their responsibility to their communities by continuing to follow the law. A handful are choosing to ignore their responsibility: by so doing, they’re simply extending the pain the pandemic has already wrought upon all of us."

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