State settles lawsuits against Anoka, Princeton restaurants that violated executive orders

Friday, Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison’s office announced they’ve settled lawsuits against two restaurants that violated COVID-19 restrictions implemented by Gov. Tim Walz’s executive orders.

Ellison’s office said Cork in Anoka and Neighbors on the Rum in Princeton both agreed to fully comply with current and future executive orders that apply to bars and restaurants, and will each be liable for a penalty of $25,000 for any future violations.

Cork also agreed to a 15-day liquor license suspension. Cork’s license expired on Jan. 1 but the business hasn’t tried to renew it, according to Ellison’s office. The suspension will go into effect if a new license is applied for and approved.

Monticello restaurant settles lawsuit over violations of COVID restrictions, pays $10K made during violations

"I want to thank Cork and Neighbors on the Rum for meeting their responsibility to help all Minnesotans stop the spread of COVID-19 and congratulate it on rejoining the vast majority of Minnesota bars and restaurants that are already doing so," Ellison said. "It brought me no joy to bring these enforcement actions and I am happy to resolve them in a way that helps keep more Minnesotans safe from this deadly virus."

"Our top priority has always been education and voluntary compliance. Enforcement has always been a last resort," Ellison added. "This settlement can be a sign to the very small handful of establishments that are violating the executive order that compliance is still available to them."

The state has now settled three of its lawsuits against businesses that violated the executive orders.