Skip to main content

Minnesota sues 2 bars, revokes license of another for staying open despite COVID shutdown

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

Two bars that have stayed open in defiance of Gov. Tim Walz's COVID-19 shutdown are being sued by the State of Minnesota, while a third has had its license revoked for alleged repeated breaches of COVID-19 safety measures, AND staying open despite the shutdown.

The Minnesota Department of Health announced Friday evening that it has filed lawsuits, with the aid of the Minnesota Attorney General's Office, against Havens Garden in Lynd, Lyons County, and Boardwalk Bar and Grill in East Grand Forks.

A third restaurant, the Iron Waffle outside Nisswa, has had its license revoked and is facing a $9,500 fine for its alleged "history of non-compliance" of the governor's COVID-19 rules, which follows "multiple complaints" alleging violations of the requirement that employees wear face masks.

BMTN has reported about both Havens Garden and the Boardwalk Bar and Grill this week, with the owners deciding to open the doors to customers despite the four-week shutdown implemented by the governor last month, which doesn't expire till Dec. 18.

Havens Garden owner Larvita McFarquhar had argued that the shutdown was unconstitutional, and continued to serve customers even after having her license revoked by Southwest Health and Human Services, only for this to be rescinded by a vote of the regional health body's board.

MDH serve Havens Garden with a cease and desist order on Wednesday, and is now seeking a court-ordered injunction requiring it to close.

A cease and desist order was served on the Boardwalk Bar and Grill on Thursday, only for the restaurant to publicly say "that it planned to remain open to the public for on-premises dining."

Ellison has filed a lawsuit seeking a temporary restraining order prohibiting it from remaining open, which was granted by the Polk County District Court Friday afternoon.

Sign up for our BREAKING NEWS newsletters

Of the Iron Waffle, MDH says its staff have "tried to work with the business operators to inform them of the requirements and bring them into compliance."

"When those efforts failed, MDH issued a cease and desist order on August 6," it said. "The establishment closed briefly and then reopened in non-compliance."

MDH issued an "Administrative Penalty Order" on Sept. 24, to which the restaurant didn't respond. As a result, MDH sent a notice informing the restaurant it is now facing a penalty of $9,500, and it would have its license revoked if it didn't come into compliance with the COVID-19 safety measures.

"MDH staff inspected the establishment on December 5 and found it was allowing on-site consumption in violation of Executive Order 20-99," it said. "The department revoked the facility’s license on December 9, with the $9,500 penalty still due."

Next Up

Screen Shot 2023-01-29 at 1.54.31 PM

Missing: Minnesota man last seen in Sioux Falls area

Aaron Pearson, 41, was reported missing on Thursday.

Screen Shot 2023-01-27 at 7.45.44 PM

Protest for Tyre Nichols to be held outside MN Governor’s Mansion

Activists groups say they’ll call on Gov. Tim Walz and the Legislature to implement police reforms.

Pool

Minnesota pool contractor banned from industry, must pay $2 million-plus

Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison filed suit against Charles Workman and his company, MN Crete Pools, LLC, in August.

Minneapolis police

St. Paul man identified as victim of north Minneapolis homicide

The shooting occurred on the 2200 block of Emerson Avenue North on Wednesday.

ambulance

Two youths seriously injured after being struck by driver in Bloomington

Police say the boy is in a critical condition, while the girl has severe injuries.

Rosedale Center

Two men sentenced for carjacking in Rosedale Center parking lot

Leon Kismit Bell, 49, and Jack Mitchell Piche, 23, were sentenced in U.S. District Court on Jan. 20.

Screen Shot 2023-01-27 at 3.59.30 PM

Police identify White Bear Lake officer shot while serving warrant

The officer is a six-year veteran of the department.

abortion, planned parenthood

Minnesota Senate passes bill codifying abortion into state law

Having already passed in the House, it will now be sent to Gov. Tim Walz for signing into law.

Screen Shot 2023-01-27 at 7.45.44 PM

Tyre Nichols: Initial police version of events bear similarities to George Floyd killing

Memphis PD said Nichols complained of 'shortness of breath' following 'confrontations' with police, who in reality violently beat him.

Related

restaurant-602894_1280

58 bars, restaurants added to list of those linked to COVID-19 outbreaks

The Minnesota Department of Health has recorded 117 bars and restaurants tied to coronavirus outbreaks.

Cowboy Jacks

4 Minnesota bars linked to COVID-19 outbreaks

More than 130 cases have resulted from people congregating at the bars.

Cowboy Jacks

List of 19 bars in Minnesota linked to COVID-19 outbreaks

The majority of cases linked to the bars are young adults.

Walz

Walz to announce new COVID-19 restrictions at Tuesday press conference

He will reportedly reduce the opening hours of bars and restaurants.

Governor Tim Walz

Walz set to announce 4-week closure for bars, restaurants, gyms

Details have started coming out about the governor's announcement.