New Prague bar that disregarded Walz shutdown order settles lawsuit

The bar was cited for several violations late last year.
Publish date:
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

Thomas Humphrey, charged in vaccine thefts.

Viral videos of vaccine thefts lead to charges for MN anti-vaxxer

Thomas Edward Humphrey is a 32-year-old St. Paul resident.

Kyle Imdieke of Osakis, Minnesota.

Community rallies around family of MN coach who died suddenly

Kyle Imdieke was a beloved educator at Osakis High School.

Hinckley crash

Fatal crash that closed north I-35 caused when SUV crossed median

The incident occurred Friday afternoon one mile south of Hinckley in eastern Minnesota.

Screen Shot 2021-05-15 at 7.17.27 AM

Viral video: Customer argues with Menards worker over store mask policy

The incident happened in Buffalo on Thursday, hours after the CDC issued new guidance on face masks for vaccinated people.

Sylvia Fowles

Phoenix, Minnesota live up to the hype in WNBA opener

Diana Taurasi hit the game-winning shot with 1.1 seconds to play.

Josh Donaldson

Oakland smacks four home runs to extend Twins' horrific start

The A's handed the Twins a 6-1 loss on Friday night.


Spring Lake Park Hy-Vee to open by the end of May

A dozen Hy-Vee stores are now located in the Twin Cities metro area.

PXG Store Manager Derek Holmes Qualifies for the PGA Championship

Minnesota golf store manager qualifies for PGA Championship

No word if he'll have to burn some vacation days to play in the PGA Championship!

police tape, crime scene

Bemidji police: 21 shots fired after 'verbal exchange' on street

Investigators say they are still searching for those responsible.


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.


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.

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.

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.

Alibi Drinkery in Lakeville.

Judge: Alibi Drinkery will be fined $3K for every day it stays open

The Lakeville bar reopened in mid-December and has been the subject of several actions by the state for defying orders.