MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — A Lakeville bar and restaurant that opened its doors in defiance of Gov. Tim Walz’s executive order had their day in court Wednesday morning.
Alibi Drinkery became the center of the debate over Walz’s ban on indoor gathering and dining at bars and restaurants, due to video surfacing showing the bar filled with people, many without masks. After that video, the Attorney General’s office sued Alibi for violating the temporary ban on indoor drinking and dining.
Alibi has remained closed since that day, but the co-owner’s attorney Michael Padden argued the question of whether or not Walz has the authority to close bars and restaurants for indoor service. He also argued that, so far, the state hasn’t given any evidence that someone was infected by COVID-19 during the gathering at Alibi.
Attorney General Keith Ellison’s office countered by saying the state implemented a temporary shutdown to slow the spread of COVID-19 during a time when the state has been ravaged by the pandemic, with a goal of protecting people and saving lives.
“The defendant opened its bar and restaurant to on-premise dining on Dec. 15. And despite repeated warnings, continued to provide on-premise dining to customers in a way that demonstrated a total disregard for pubic safety, creating a high-risk environment,” Assistant Attorney General Elizabeth Odette said.
Padden told the judge that Alibi has lost 23 employees and they’ve lost a gross revenue of $350,000.
“The governor renders these executive orders and it’s almost like, ‘Well, you know, it’s going to greatly affect some businesses more than others. Gee, we are really sorry about that.’ But they don’t offer any reasonable compensation for the loss these businesses are experiencing,” Padden said.
Judge Jerome Abrams says he will take time to write a summary of his decision on this matter, a conclusion that he hopes to have done sometime after Christmas.
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Source: CBS Minnesota