Skip to main content

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went into effect – received a notice from Southwest Health and Human Services informing her that the bar's license had been revoked, but continued to serve customers despite this.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Southwest Health and Human Services confirmed to BMTN that the license suspension has been rescinded, but would not go into detail as to the reason why.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

Eric Kendricks

Vikings downgrade Eric Kendricks to out against Lions

The Vikings have also activated Michael Pierce from injured reserve.

u.s. attorney

Minnesotan sentenced after assaulting man with baseball bat

Marshall Wayne Boshey was sentenced to 30 months in prison followed by two years of supervised release.

Target store

Target's gift card discount is back, but for this weekend only

The fine print: for Target Circle members only (but membership is free).

Screen Shot 2020-06-15 at 7.11.05 AM

Minneapolis teen arrested in St. Cloud after fleeing police in stolen vehicle

The vehicle was stolen in a car-jacking in Minneapolis Thursday.

snow, blowing snow

Winter storm warnings issued with heavy snow set to slam MN

Parts of northern Minnesota could see more than a foot of snow, but there won't be much in the Twin Cities.

D'Angelo Russell

With KAT out, Timberwolves can't upset Nets

D'Angelo Russell stepped up but couldn't overcome Brooklyn's firepower.

Everson Griffen Vikings dot com

Everson Griffen confirms he has bipolar disorder

"I’ve been running from it a long time. I’m not ashamed of it anymore.”

Angela Renee Jones, St. Cloud murder suspect

St. Cloud suspect now charged in two local murder cases

Both murders happened within a day of each other in June.

st anthony 3 crop

Twin Cities police ask for help finding missing 16-year-old

Police say all her family and friends have been contacted, and none of them know where she is.


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.