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Restaurant found in contempt for defying COVID-19 order

January 8, 2021 GMT

HASTINGS, Minn. (AP) — The owners of a restaurant in Dakota County have been found in contempt of court for defying a state order prohibiting indoor dining because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Alibi Drinkery in Lakeville will have to pay a $3,000 find for every day it is not in compliance with the order. Gov. Tim Walz’s order has been extended through Jan. 10 and on Jan. 11 bars and restaurants can reopen at 50% capacity.

District Judge Jerome Abrams said Thursday Alibi is endangering the public by staying open during the pandemic, the Star Tribune reported.

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“Each day the defendant remains in violation of the injunction, the health and welfare of the public are at risk and are being irreparably harmed,” Abrams wrote in his ruling.

Alibi co-owner Lisa Monet Zarza initially complied with the closure order, but later advertised the club would reopen Dec. 15.

Attorney General Keith Ellison sued the restaurant’s owners after it reopened, but it closed again after the state obtained a temporary restraining order. The owners reopened the establishment again on New Year’s Eve and have stayed open since.

Zarza’s attorney, Michael Padden, declined to comment on the judge’s order because he had not yet reviewed it.