MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Lawyers representing several Minneapolis establishments, including Smack Shack and the Gay 90s, asked a judge Wednesday to issue a restraining order preventing the city from enforcing the proof of vaccination requirement.
“This is not an anti-vax, anti-testing or anti-masking effort or lawsuit,” said attorney Chris Renz. “They are closing parts of facilities … Sales are down 35%-65%.”READ MORE: COVID In Minnesota: MDH Reports 2,131 Cases, 9 Deaths
Minneapolis Assistant City Attorney Mark Enslin says while the city has empathy for the businesses, the rules are for the common good.
“Even if they could establish financial harm, that has to be weighed against the health and safety of the citizens of Minneapolis and its visitors,” Enslin said.
Minneapolis and St. Paul bars and restaurants have already had those requirements for a week, so WCCO checked in to see how things are going. Luke Shimp, owner of Red Rabbit and Red Cow, says sales are down by about 11%.
“We haven’t had any confrontation, we’ve only had a few folks show up without their cards,” Shimp said. “The unfortunate side is we’ve seen a major decline in sales virtually since the announcement.”
READ MORE: COVID In Minnesota: 2,120 More Cases Reported, 6 Deaths
He says takeout is up slightly. Other restaurants tell us their business is also down.
On the other hand, there are businesses like Hark! Cafe in Minneapolis, where Katherine Pardue is co-owner.
“Our customers were overwhelmingly really supportive,” Pardue said. “We did see a huge boost in sales after we announced our policy in August.”
Before the city required it, customers would visit the cafe specifically because the requirement gave them piece of mind. Clear communication, takeout and delivery options have helped carry them through.
“There’s a lot of things to weigh,” she said.MORE NEWS: MN State Auditor Julie Blaha Tests Positive For COVID
The judge did not rule after hearing arguments Wednesday. It’s possible the city council will take up the matter Thursday.