Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison is suing restaurants who remain open despite state-mandated COVID shutdowns, filing three more lawsuits this week against bars that are pushing back against closures and remaining open in an effort to stay in business.
According to reports, Ellison has filed suits against St. Patrick’s Tavern in New Prague, Pour House in Clarks Grove and The Interchange in Albert Lea, saying his office had received multiple complaints that the establishments were remaining open for indoor dining and not enforcing face masks or social distancing. The lawsuits come as thousands of small businesses, many of them locally owned restaurants and bars, have closed their doors permanently since being forced to shutdown indefinitely by state and local governments.
According to CBS Minnesota, “St. Patrick’s Tavern had 150 to 200 vehicles in its parking lot on Dec. 18 and witnesses reported the establishment was standing room only, with it ‘packed inside so tightly that it was difficult to move around inside.’”
What? A restaurant filled with patrons who voluntarily visited the establishment of their own free will, despite the nanny state’s edict? The horror!
“There are 10,000 restaurants and 1,500 bars in Minnesota. By far the vast majority of them have served their communities by complying with the law all along. Unfortunately, a very small handful are threatening their customers, their workers, and their communities by refusing to comply and violating the law. Their insistence on violating the law is simply prolonging the pain of the pandemic for everyone,” Ellison said.
Except that these restaurants aren't forcing anyone to patron their establishments - they're simply keeping their doors open for free adults who've decided the risk of catching the coronavirus is one they're willing to take.
Ellison has already filed two other lawsuits against the Alibi Drinkery in Lakeville, Neighbors on the Rum in Princeton, Cornerstone Café in Monticello, and Cork in Anoka for remaining open in violation of the governor’s closure order, which restricts indoor dining until at least January 10.