Albert Lea, Lakeville businesses facing 5-year liquor license revocation for COVID-19 violations | KAALTV.com

Albert Lea, Lakeville businesses facing 5-year liquor license revocation for COVID-19 violations

KAAL-TV
Updated: December 31, 2020 11:07 PM
Created: December 31, 2020 07:11 PM

(ABC 6 News) - The Minnesota Department of Public Safety Alcohol and Gambling Enforcement Division has notified Alibi Drinkery in Lakeville and The Interchange in Albert Lea that they now face a five-year liquor license revocation for ongoing and blatant violations of Executive Order (EO) 20-99, as modified and extended by EO 20-103.

Both establishments continue to sell or advertise the sale of alcohol for indoor, on-premises consumption in violation of the executive orders, and neither have come into compliance after numerous requests, notifications and court actions.  

DPS-AGED previously advised these establishments that it intended to suspend their liquor licenses for 60 days, pending a hearing before an administrative law judge. The establishments were advised at that time that they would be notified of the intent to revoke their license for five years if there were further violations.

  • Alibi, Lakeville – DPS-AGED notified Alibi on Dec. 16 of its intention to suspend Alibi’s liquor license for continued violations of EO 20-99, requiring all restaurants and bars to cease selling alcohol for on-premises consumption until Dec. On December 30 at approximately 8 p.m., Alibi posted on its Facebook page that it would reopen on Dec. 31. Earlier today, an investigator with the Attorney General’s Office (AGO) observed and took photos of numerous patrons eating and drinking what appeared to be alcoholic beverages.
     
  • The Interchange, Albert Lea - DPS - AGED notified The Interchange on Dec. 19 of its intention to suspend the establishment’s liquor license for continued violations of EO 20-99. On Dec. 21, 26, 28 and 29, The Interchange posted on its Facebook page that it was open for dine-in service. On Dec. 30 and 31, The Interchange posted about a “New Year’s Eve Celebration,” advertising liquor sales and recommending reservations. In addition, DPS-AGED received information on Dec. 29 from the Albert Lea Police Department that The Interchange remained open, with the exception of Christmas Day. On Dec. 30, DPS-AGED agents observed the establishment open for on-premises consumption of food and beverages, again willfully violating EO-103. 

While the vast majority of Minnesota establishments continue to comply with state executive orders and guidance, some bars and restaurants that choose to violate the executive order are subject to numerous sanctions and legal actions, up to and including significant fines and revocation of their food and liquor licenses.

Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison announced today that Dakota County District Court  granted his office’s motion for a temporary injunction against Alibi Drinkery in Lakeville.  The order converts the temporary restraining order that the court previously granted on December 18 into a temporary injunction that will remain in effect for the duration of the State’s lawsuit.  Alibi must comply with the temporary injunction to temporarily remain closed for indoor, on-premises dining through January 10, 2021, or risk being found in civil contempt of court. 

The Attorney General’s office filed a lawsuit against The Interchange, Albert Lea, Minn., on Dec. 21, 2020, for operating inside on-premises dining in violation of Executive Order 20-99, as modified and extended by EO 20-103. The office won a temporary restraining order against The Interchange on Dec. 23, 2020.   


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