ST. PAUL -- The state has decided to take legal action against three restaurants found to be in violation of the most recent COVID-19 executive order.

State officials announced Friday that the Minnesota Attorney General's Office filed lawsuits against the Boardwalk Bar and Grill of East Grand Forks and Havens Garden in Lynd. Both businesses were sent cease and desist letters from the Minnesota Department of Health following their decisions to remain open despite an executive order to close for on-site dining.

The Polk County District Court granted the Attorney General’s motion for a temporary restraining order against the Boardwalk Bar and Grill to prohibit the restaurant from remaining open. The court action filed against Havens Garden seeks a court-ordered injunction.

Officials have also revoked the license of and issued a fine to Iron Waffle in Nisswa. They say the business has ignored past executive orders including mandatory mask-wearing for employees, closed briefly in August after receiving a cease and desist letter, and then reopened later, still in violation. The department of health issued an Administrative Penalty Order which they say the business ignored. Iron Waffle now faces a $9,500 penalty.

Executive Order 20-99 was signed by Governor Tim Walz on November 18th in an attempt to prevent a surge in cases and the overwhelming of state healthcare systems. The order is currently set to expire at 11:59 p.m. on December 18th.

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