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Restaurants in Becker, Lake Park the latest to face action for reopening

They are subject of cease-and-desist orders.

Restaurants in Becker and Lake Park have become the latest in a growing numbers of bars and restaurants that have reopened in violation of Gov. Walz's temporary ban on indoor dining to curb the spread of COVID-19.

The Minnesota Department of Health announced it's issued cease-and-desist orders against Pizza Depot, Becker, and Hooligans Lakeside, in Lake Park, near Detroit Lakes.

It comes after an inspection at The Pizza Depot found it was open for service this past Wednesday, Dec. 16, when a number of businesses required to be closed under the COVID-19 order decided to open.

Hooligans was found to be open for dine-in service on Thursday.

The restaurants now facing legal action from either MDH, the Minnesota Department of Public Safety, or the Minnesota Attorney General's office for breaking the governor's executive order this week are as follows:

  • Alibi Drinkery, Lakeville.
  • Broadwalk Bar and Grill, East Grand Forks.
  • Cork, Anoka.
  • Cornerstone Cafe, Monticello.
  • Havens Garden, Lyn.
  • Hooligans Lakeside, Lake Park.
  • The Interchange, Albert Lea.
  • Iron Waffle, Nisswa.
  • Mission Tavern, Merrifield.
  • Pizza Depot, Becker.

MDH assistant commissioner Dan Huff says that education and outreach have been the preferred method of responding rather than enforcement action, but that it's been forced to take action when businesses are found to be blatantly violating the rules.

According to MDH Assistant Commissioner Dan Huff, enforcement actions are a last resort when it is clear that education and outreach are not sufficient to help a regulated establishment come into compliance with requirements.

“COVID-19 protocols are designed to slow the spread of this virus and reduce the impacts of this pandemic,” he said. 

“Our preference is always to work with business to bring them into compliance, and we consider regulatory actions as a last resort. The vast majority of businesses are doing their best to help slow down the spread of COVID-19, and we owe it to them to have a consistent and fair enforcement approach.”

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