ST. PAUL -- A judge has issued a temporary injunction against a Minnesota chain of bars, whose owner pledged to defy Gov. Tim Walz's emergency orders against in-person patronage amid the coronavirus pandemic.
The Stearns County District Court's temporary injunction, issued Tuesday, June 2, bars six locations of the Shady's bar and restaurant chain, located in and around Stearns County, from offering on-site food and drinks without following Walz's conditions.
Bars and restaurants are now, as of Monday, allowed to offer on-site consumption in outdoor-only, socially distanced accommodations. But weeks ago, when bars and restaurants were still required to only serve take-out, Shady's owner Kris Schiffler vowed to defy Walz's orders and reopen early.
Attorney General Keith Ellison filed an enforcement action and motion for a temporary restraining order against Shady's on May 17, which was issued by the Stearns County District Court a day later.
In a news release, Ellison's office said Tuesday's temporary injunction requires Shady's to comply with Walz's orders throughout the duration of the lawsuit. Ellison said that Minnesotans "can be relieved that the Court has put their health first by granting this temporary injunction."
Stearns County has the second-highest rate of COVID-19 cases per capita in the state. As of Tuesday, more than 25,000 Minnesotans have been diagnosed with COVID-19 and 1,072 Minnesotans have died from the respiratory illness.