'This is a marketing ploy': Lakeville lawmaker slams Alibi for reopening

Sen. Matt Little is calling for support of local businesses that follow the rules.
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Alibi Drinkery in Lakeville.

A state lawmaker on his way out of office is ending his tenure with a candid message about the battle over COVID-19 restrictions.

On Friday, State Sen. Matt Little, a DFLer from Lakeville, posted a long message on Facebook calling out local bar Alibi Drinkery for its continued stand against the shutdown:

In the post, Little vows "never step foot into Alibi ever again," but also takes special aim at local politicians. 

"The absolute silence from area elected officials is telling," he writes. "They are scared to say anything. That's not leadership, it's cowardice. Whether you agree with what Alibi is doing or not, tell the people where you stand."

He goes on to explain his position about the state's controversial shutdown restrictions, and accuses Alibi of staging a "marketing plot at the expense of other local businesses":

Do I believe that restaurants should be open at some capacity? Yes, I do. Does that mean someone should open illegally? No, it doesn't. This isn't the Alamo, this isn't the Boston Tea Party, this isn't some grand Constitutional stand. This is a marketing ploy at the expense of other local businesses. I hope you'll get takeout from the Buckboard, Babe's, Angry Inch, B-52, Toppers, and Lakeville Brewing Company. And when we open again, that's where you'll find me seated.

"I know some of my friends won't like what I have to say, but by God, I said it," Little concludes. 

"But now, I ask that you press other elected officials to take a stand one way or the other. In Lakeville, the place I call home, let us not reward selfishness or cowardice."

As recently as Thursday night, Alibi was open and packed with unmasked patrons, despite the possibility of losing its liquor license.

Attorney General Keith Ellison has filed a lawsuit against Alibi and is seeking a temporary restraining order forcing its temporary closure, while the potential license suspension is pending an administrative hearing.

The Alibi is far from alone in flouting COVID restrictions; statewide, 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.

Little lost his reelection bid in November; his term in office ends on January 4. 

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