Regional health board votes to lift license suspension of bar that broke COVID-19 rules by staying open

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

Members of a regional health board in southwestern Minnesota have voted to lift the license suspension imposed on a bar that stayed open in defiance of Gov. Tim Walz's executive order.

Havens Garden in Lynd, Lyon County, has stayed open despite Gov. Walz's order in response to surging COVID-19 cases, which shuts down dine-in service at bars and restaurants till Dec. 18.

Last week, owner Larvita McFarquhar – who has posted several videos showing patrons drinking at her bar since the four-week ban went into effect – received a notice from Southwest Health and Human Services informing her that the bar's license had been revoked, but continued to serve customers despite this.

However, the Southwest Health and Human Services Community Health Board met on Wednesday, and voted to rescind the license suspension.

"I want to say thank you to Southwest Health and Human Services for voting to rescind the suspension of my license," McFarquhar posted on Facebook. "Thank you for standing on the constitution and doing what is right."

Southwest Health and Human Services confirmed to BMTN that the license suspension has been rescinded, but would not go into detail as to the reason why.

"SWHHS will continue to provide education and information with our community partners in relation to the Governor’s Executive Order and the COVID-19 pandemic," Public Health Director Carol Biren said.

The Southwest Health and Human Services Community Health Board is made up of representatives from each of the six counties it serves: Lincoln, Lyon, Murray, Pipestone, Redwood and Rock.

Sign up for our BREAKING NEWS newsletters

BMTN reached out to several members to ask for more information as to why they voted to lift the license suspension but has yet to hear back.

There may be more action forthcoming however from the Office of Attorney General Keith Ellison, which confirmed to BMTN earlier this week that it was looking into the bar's situation.

On its website, Southwest Health and Human Services' public health section says among its responsibilities is to "prevent the spread of infectious disease."

Lyon County, where Havens Garden is located, has in recent weeks had one of the highest rates of COVID-19 in the state of Minnesota.

There have been 2,535 total cases confirmed in the county since the start of the pandemic – representing almost 10% of its population of 25,474.

Next Up

covid, vaccine

Here is Minnesota's COVID-19 update for Sunday, April 11

The latest figures from the Minnesota Department of Health.

Screen Shot 2021-04-11 at 10.52.04 AM

A-Rod takeover: Fans can't help but fear the worst

Could the former slugger move the Timberwolves?

Nurse Rachel Zanmiller, who's battling cancer.

After post-birth cancer diagnosis, MN nurse's family asking for help

Rachel Zanmiller has been battling leukemia since giving birth last month.

jennifer carnahan

After intense campaign, Jennifer Carnahan reelected MN GOP chair

This will be her third term leading Minnesota Republicans.

police lights

Meth, handgun and $34K in cash seized in drugs raid

Two people were arrested and two children were placed with family service.

Screen Shot 2021-04-11 at 7.44.24 AM

Watch: 'Saturday Night Live' cold open was about Derek Chauvin trial

It featured four cast members playing anchors of a fictional Minnesota TV news channel.


St. Cloud State blanked by UMass in national championship game

Minnesota had three teams in the Frozen Four but didn't claim the national title.

BLM mural in West St. Paul.

Minnesotan's fight to save his BLM mural gets international coverage

West St. Paul told Ryan Weyandt the art violates city code.

Alex Rodriguez

Reports: Alex Rodriguez part of group finalizing deal to buy Wolves, Lynx

The former MLB will become part-owner of the Wolves and Lynx.

snow, slush (submitted photo, ok to use)

Accumulating snow expected in parts of Minnesota on Monday

Far northwestern Minnesota stands the best chance for higher snow totals.

Screen Shot 2021-04-10 at 1.53.51 PM

Police looking for 'person of interest' in connection to woman's killing

The public is advised to avoid approaching him and to call 911.

covid, vaccine

Here is Minnesota's COVID-19 update for Saturday, April 10

Cases and hospitalizations have been on the rise in Minnesota.


Screen Shot 2020-12-08 at 10.54.41 PM

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

Havens Garden owner Larvita McFarquhar argues the shutdown is unconstitutional.

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.

Screen Shot 2020-04-17 at 2.58.26 PM

COVID-19: Walz confirms bars must close at 10 p.m., new limits on gatherings

It comes as Minnesota's COVID-19 crisis gets increasingly dire.

Governor Tim Walz

Watch live: Gov. Tim Walz announces bar, restaurant reopening plans

The latest 'turning of the dials' in Minnesota's COVID-19 response is being revealed.

Fairview Southdale

Two more M Health Fairview hospitals to handle COVID-19 cases

The healthcare provider says its original COVID-19 facility, Bethesda, is nearing capacity.