MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – A court has shut down a bar in East Grand Forks which had reopened for in-person dining and disregarded an executive order by Gov. Tim Walz.
Walz’s order says bars and restaurants must go take-out only between Nov. 20 and Dec. 18.
On Friday, Attorney General Keith Ellison’s office filed a lawsuit against the Boardwalk Bar and Grill for violating the executive order. Later that afternoon, the Polk County District Court granted his office’s motion for a temporary restraining order to keep the bar from opening for in-person dining.
On Dec. 9, the Boardwalk Bar and Grill posted on their Facebook page that “we will be opening TODAY at 4:00pm for dine-in services and will be open Tuesday through Saturday from 4:00 pm to 11:00 pm.”
That day, local law enforcement arrived at the restaurant and saw areas full of customers eating and drinking.
They handed owner Jane Moss a copy of the executive order and told her that the bar was open in violation of that order. Moss said she understood, but chose to remain open.
On Dec. 10, the Minnesota Department of Health served the bar with a cease and desist order. However, the restaurant has said it intends to disregard the executive order and stay open for on-site dining.
“COVID-19 is deadly serious: it doesn’t care who you are or where you live, and it’s hurting people in every corner of Minnesota. This is why it’s everyone’s responsibility to stop it,” said Ellison. “I know it’s especially tough on establishments in border areas – but the fact that neighboring states should be doing more to stop the spread of COVID doesn’t mean Minnesotans should do less.”
East Grand Forks borders North Dakota, which is the state with the highest per-capita rate of COVID cases in the country, according to the New York Times. Since the pandemic began, Polk County, where East Grand Forks is located, has seen 2,955 cases and 38 deaths.