Minnesota bar defied governor's shutdown, had license suspended, is still open

Havens Garden owner Larvita McFarquhar argues the shutdown is unconstitutional.
Author:
Updated:
Original:

A bar in southwestern Minnesota has stayed open in defiance of Gov. Tim Walz's latest executive order, even after having its license suspended.

Havens Garden in Lynd, southwest of Marshall in Lyon County, continues to serve food and drink, and host live music, despite having its license suspended by Southwest Health and Human Services last Wednesday, Dec. 2.

Two days later, owner Larvita McFarquhar streamed video live on Facebook from her business showing several customers drinking at the bar.

And on Tuesday evening, she confirmed in a message to Bring Me The News that she is still open "Monday-Thursday 10:30am-3 and Friday from 8pm-11 with live music and food."

The only visit she's had from any authorities since losing her license was a deputy last Thursday, who said he'd "received a complaint saying we are selling food without a license and that he had to come out and write a report."

The four-week "pause" announced by Gov. Tim Walz last month requires bars and restaurants to cease dine-in service until Dec. 18, with the move taken amid surging COVID-19 cases in the state, and with crowded bars considered to be a source of transmission.

Lyon County has one of the highest COVID-19 rates in the state, with 20% or more of its tests for the virus positive each week between Nov. 8 and Nov. 28.

McFarquhar's stance has attracted attention from, among others, Fox Business, with the single mother-of-two interviewed by the TV channel this past weekend.

She told Fox she considers the governor's orders to be unconstitutional, and that she is taking a stand to teacher her daughters "that America is great."

“It doesn’t matter who’s the leader, who’s in power,” she said. “Our Constitution is for the people… Everywhere we go that’s what we have, the Constitution, to protect us. And if we don’t take a stand now, who will?"

On Twitter, she posted that the governor's executive orders "are ruining small businesses and destroying lives."

Sign up for our BREAKING NEWS newsletters

Despite her claim on Twitter that "mandates are not laws," the governor's executive order is enforceable and she is now risking the prospect of stricter action being taken by local and state authorities.

On Tuesday, the office of Attorney General Keith Ellison confirmed to BMTN that it is "working with local health officials on this case."

Earlier this month, the AG's office obtained a court injunction requiring a gym in southeastern Minnesota to shut down after it stayed open despite the executive order.

Businesses that violate the executive order may face fines of up to $25,000 plus costs for each occurrence.

And McFarquhar may face further punishment if she's prosecuted for operating with a suspended license, 

This video, taken before she received notice that her license had been suspended, also shows a large number of customers in her bar on Nov. 28, 

Next Up

Willians Astudillo

Twins pitchers decimated: 16 runs, 18 hits, 8 walks ... 4 strikeouts

The White Sox hammered the Twins 16-4 but Astudillo took the mound in the ninth.

Trinity

Girl shot in the head at birthday party 'fighting for her life'

Trinity Ottoson-Smith was struck by a bullet in the head last weekend.

Kelly Kleine

Broncos hire Vikings' Kelly Kleine as highest-ranking woman scout in NFL history

Kleine will reunite in Denver with former Vikings executive George Paton.

Joel Eriksson Ek

Wild looks to exorcise demons from haunted Game 2 history

The Wild have lost nine straight Game 2s entering Tuesday night's tilt with Vegas.

ambulance

Woman who died in crash after car lost tire in Minneapolis is ID'd

The 35-year-old Minneapolis woman was originally from Mahnomen.

Flickr - fishing minnesota 2020 -Lorie Shaull

Curious conservation officer reports from the Minnesota DNR

Gravel thieves, raucous campers and some quick thinking that backfired.

St. Paul police squad

Police 'tactically disengage' from standoff in St. Paul

The incident lasted approximately 2 1/2 hours.

Cane's

Another Raising Cane's set to open in the Twin Cities

This will be the 11th Raising Cane's restaurant in the metro area.

kimberly potter

Trial of former police officer Kimberly Potter starts Dec. 6

Potter is charged in the shooting death of Daunte Wright.

Abbott Northwestern Hospital in Minneapolis.

Health care workers ratify tentative agreement with Allina Health

The union was threatening a strike just two weeks ago.

Related

Screen Shot 2020-12-08 at 10.54.41 PM

Health board votes to lift license suspension of bar that is staying open during shutdown

Havens Garden has remained open despite high levels of COVID-19 in the local area.

Alibi Drinkery

Lakeville bar has license suspended after opening to large, maskless crowd

The State of Minnesota also suspended the license of a Princeton bar, with another facing a suspension.

Plainview

Judge orders Minnesota gym that defied shutdown to close

Attorney General Keith Ellison sued the gym after it remained open.

coronavirus, covid-19

MN health leaders: Shutdown 'clearly helped change pandemic's trajectory'

Minnesota health leaders believe the partial shutdown played a key role in slowing the spread.

coronavirus, covid-19

Will Minnesota's four-week shutdown be extended?

Some are preparing for an extended shutdown period.

Alibi Drinkery

With license suspension pending, Lakeville bar to open for second day running

Alibi Drinkery has courted controversy with its decision to flout COVID-19 orders.

Boardwalk Bar

Minnesota sues 2 bars, revokes license of another for flouting COVID-19 rules

Bars in Lynd and East Grand Forks are now being sued by the Minnesota Department of Health and Minnesota AG.