Skip to main content

New Prague bar that disregarded Walz shutdown order settles lawsuit

The bar was cited for several violations late last year.
24436 Old Hwy 13 Blvd, New Prague, Minnesota

A Scott County bar has agreed to pay a $15,000 fine in a lawsuit settlement with the Office of Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison. 

St. Patrick's Tavern & Restaurant in New Prague was sued by the AG for opening to indoor dining service when Gov. Tim Walz used an executive order to temporarily shut down indoor service at bars and restaurants statewide from Nov. 20, 2020 to Jan. 10, 2021 in response to spiking COVID-19 cases.

The AG's office said it found the eatery in violation of the order on multiple occasions, namely when it accused St. Patrick's of serving "several hundred customers indoors" on Dec. 18-19. Those violations prompted the lawsuit. 

The bar claims that as part of its punishment, it was also required to shut down during the week ending April 4, though this wasn't mentioned in the AG's settlement statement.

"St. Patrick's will be closed from Monday, March 29th, through Sunday, April 4th. The Minnesota Department of Health is shutting us down because we were open one weekend in December 2020!" the St. Patrick's Tavern Facebook page said. 

The lawsuit settlement does include language that would see St. Patrick's fined an additional $25,000 for any future violation. Funds from the settle go to the state's General Fund, not the Attorney General's Office. 

An employee of the bar explained in a Facebook post in late March why the bar opened against state orders, saying fellow employees were hurting for money right before the holidays. 

"We had been closed, we opened up outside, we masked, cleaned, went to 25 percent capacity and more and yet we were shut down again," the post said. 

"Many of us work at the bar part time to supplement our income and we did not get unemployment. We were losing income right before the holidays. We contacted the governor multiple times to try and work something out that didn’t hurt small businesses so hard and got no response. We did something to make a statement and no one and nothing got hurt."

“It’s every Minnesotan’s responsibility to stop the spread of COVID-19. I thank this business for agreeing to meet its responsibility and rejoin the vast majority of Minnesota businesses that are already doing so,” Ellison said in a statement. “My top priority has always been educating Minnesotans about their responsibility and winning voluntary compliance. Enforcement has been and will continue to be a last resort.”

The latest forecast from Novak Weather

Next Up

Screen Shot 2022-01-17 at 9.39.38 PM

Jordan Greenway runs into Darcy Kuemper, sparks fight

Kuemper got knocked out of the game, leading to the brawl.

Kirill Kaprizov

MacKinnon's controversial goal helps Avalanche top Wild

Kirill Kaprizov's two goals were spoiled by a questionable call.

powell itasca jail jan 2022 resize

Attorney accused of sex assault misses hearing, DMs judge

He was arrested the next day after a warrant was issued,

lorie shaull vulcan snow park st paul winter carnival 2018

Winter Carnival: Get vaccinated or test negative before coming

Organizers are also reminding people to be mindful of the city's emergency regulations.

hospital, emergency room

Driver, 15 years old, hurt when car collides with SUV

The road was wet at the time, the State Patrol said.

Tyler Wahl

Minnesotans have the Badgers back in the national spotlight

Three of Wisconsin's four leading scorers are from Minnesota.

Francisco Liriano

Liriano retires: Remembering his meteoric rise as a rookie

There was no one better than Liriano from mid-May to late-July in 2006.


Screen Shot 2020-12-17 at 2.29.40 PM

2 MN bars continue fight against Walz order; AG Ellison sues both

One bar has gone back to curbside pick-up while the other is still offering dine-in service.

Screen Shot 2021-01-03 at 5.14.07 PM

Lakeville bar that reopened despite COVID order reports vandalism

Also hit by vandalism is Alibi Drinkery's neighbor, Angry Inch Brewing.

Governor Tim Walz

Walz to extend bar and restaurant shutdown through holidays

Walz will formalize plans during a 1:15 p.m. press conference.

Screen Shot 2020-12-20 at 8.25.43 AM

12 MN restaurants now face legal action for reopening indoor service

Four other establishments have received cease and desist letters.


AG Ellison settles lawsuit with hookah lounge after it violated Walz's executive orders

Hookah Hideout in Little Canada agreed to pay a $4,000 to the state.

Cowboy Jacks

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

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

Muddy Waters, coronavirus, covid-19

Walz: Change to restaurant, bar guidance unlikely before June 1

Churches can allow 25% capacity up to 250 people, but bars and restaurants can only serve a max of 50 customers outside only.