AG resolves lawsuit with New Prague bar and restaurant that violated executive orders

Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison announced on Tuesday that his office has settled its lawsuit against New Prague eatery St. Patrick’s Tavern & Restaurant for violations of Gov. Tim Walz’s Executive Order 20-99 and Executive Order 20-103.

According to the terms of a consent judgment filed in Scott County, the establishment will pay a $15,000 fine and comply with the requirements of Walz’s current and future executive orders that apply to bars and restaurants while the orders are in effect. If St. Patrick’s Tavern & Restaurant were to violate any of the terms of the consent judgment, it would be subject to a civil penalty of $25,000, according to the attorney general’s office.

All funds received in this settlement go to the State of Minnesota General Fund.

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One of the requirements of the executive orders — a targeted, temporary dial-back of certain activities to halt the spread of COVID-19 — was that bars and restaurants were prohibited from permitting indoor, on-premises consumption of food or drink starting Nov. 20 until Jan. 10. The named eatery remained open for indoor, on-premises consumption, despite the Attorney General’s Office’s efforts to gain compliance with the bar and restaurant.

The owner indicated that she was not sure whether she would comply with the executive orders when the office called for the first time. After the phone call, St. Patrick’s Tavern & Restaurant remained open and hosted several hundred customers indoors on both Dec. 18 and 19, 2020. On Dec. 21, Ellison’s office filed a lawsuit against the establishment.

"It’s every Minnesotan’s responsibility to stop the spread of COVID-19. I thank this business for agreeing to meet its responsibility and rejoin the vast majority of Minnesota businesses that are already doing so," Ellison said. "My top priority has always been educating Minnesotans about their responsibility and winning voluntary compliance. Enforcement has been and will continue to be a last resort."

This marks the sixth settlement the Attorney General’s Office has reached with businesses against which it had filed enforcement actions for violating the terms of Executive Orders 20-99 and 20-103.