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COVID-19: East Grand Forks bar that reopened has license suspended

The announcement was made Sunday.

The East Grand Forks bar that reopened in defiance of Gov. Tim Walz's four-week shutdown has had its license suspended.

The Minnesota Department of Public Safety Alcohol and Gambling Enforcement announced Sunday that the liquor license of the Boardwalk Bar & Grill has had its liquor license suspended for 60 days "for continuing to violate Executive Order 20-99."

This suspension will be in effect till Feb. 9, which could take it well beyond the end of Gov. Walz's shutdown on dine-in service at bars and restaurants, even if he extends it on Wednesday.

If the bar continues to remain open while its license is suspended, it will face losing its license for five years.

The bar is also the subject of action from the Minnesota Attorney General and Minnesota Department of Health, which obtained a restraining order against the bar banning it from remaining open until the order expires.

"While we recognize the struggles that bars and liquor establishments have experienced, willful disregard of the law that puts Minnesotans in danger cannot and will not be ignored. People's lives have to take precedent during this pandemic,” said Public Safety Commissioner John Harrington.

"We will continue to work with our local public safety and business partners to educate and provide advice to slow the spread of COVID-19."

The action was taken after the bar remained open despite being served with a cease and desist letter by state officials, with bar owner Jane Moss telling the Star Tribune the shutdowns are "devastating industries like mine."

The state is taking action against two more bars that have remaining open or repeatedly flouted COVID-19 rules: Havens Gardens in Lynd, and the Iron Waffle in Nisswa. The latter has had its liquor license revoked, and is facing a $9,500 fine.

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