Governor Tim Walz's statewide shutdown affecting bars, restaurants and other places of entertainment is set to expire – though it's unclear if it'll be extended – at 11:59 p.m. this coming Friday, but it appears as though many business owners aren't going to wait for the order to expire before reopening their doors.
Defiance of the order is being spearheaded by the ReOpen Minnesota Coalition. The group's organizer informed KARE 11 Friday that at least 150 business owners have committed to reopening this week.
That coincides with what a source working in the restaurant industry told Bring Me The News, along with Rep. Jeremy Munson (R-23B) writing on his Facebook page that more than 100 plan to reopen this week.
ReOpen Minnesota is encouraging businesses in greater Minnesota to reopen on Wednesday, followed by Twin Cities-area businesses reopening Friday.
The state has so far filed two lawsuits against businesses that refused to stay closed: a fitness center in the small town of Plainview in southeast Minnesota, and Boardwalk Bar & Grill, which is located in East Grand Forks, which only the Red River separates it from North Dakota where bars and restaurants are allowed to serve customers indoors.
According to the ReOpen Minnesota Facebook page, the owner of the East Grand Forks established remains open and the owner has not been arrested.
The Sunday morning post reads: "We got an update from Jane in EGF... still not arrested, and having a fantastic weekend of business with big tippers! Way to go, friends. Her employees appreciate it so much as they were desperate for income.
Training for Warriors Apple Valley, a dojo, will reopen the day after the Dec. 18 executive order expires, and owner Reid Peterson announced in a Facebook video that he'll reopen even if Walz extends the partial shutdown.
"My wife and I own this place. We have poured more blood, sweat and tears than I can explain," Peterson said. "We are unwilling to let it go down."
Gov. Walz on Friday that every time a business reopens in defiance of the executive order it "adds the potential for more people into the emergency room."
"I had National Guard, firefighters and police say 'make our jobs a little easier, don't do these things,'" said Walz. "We will follow the procedures...I do just want to say I certainly can understand their frustrations, but like so many things in a society that's ruled by the rule of law, you follow the procedures that are out there."