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14 Minnesota bars and restaurants warned for breaking coronavirus rules

Out of more than 900 businesses investigated, more than a dozen were warned for essentially not following any aspect of coronavirus guidelines.

Out of more than 900 businesses investigated, more than a dozen were warned for essentially not following any aspect of coronavirus guidelines. Tom Horgen, Star Tribune

Last week we told you about six local bars and restaurants that closed in a 24-hour span due to coronavirus. 

Today, thanks to a release from the Minnesota Department of Public Safety, we're aware of 14 more that weren't exactly doing their part to keep that trend from continuing. 

From July 4-13, department investigators visited more than 900 bars statewide to see if they've been following the terms of Gov. Tim Walz's executive order, in effect since June 10. The drinking and dining industry guidance requires employees to wear masks, that tables be kept at a distance of six feet or more, and imposes occupancy limits indoors and out, among other rules.

Those found to be failing to adhere to one or two safety requirements were given education on what they'd done wrong -- the "majority of violations involved employees failing to wear masks," per the Monday announcement -- and advice on how to fix it. "Solutions" cited included canceling live events and unplugging pool tables or dart boards.

Of the hundreds of businesses investigated in July, 10 were found to be following essentially none of the required safety guidance; another four had been found in violation some time in late June. Business owners found to be in violation of the order could be subject to a fine of $3,000 and convicted of a gross misdemeanor. 

The 14 listed Monday got off with a written warning.

Related news from the same day should remind everyone why these rules exist: The Department of Health announced the confirmation of 922 new coronavirus cases and four additional deaths, including a nine-month-old baby in Clay County. To date, COVID-19 has infected more than 47,000 people in Minnesota and killed 1,545.

See if any stand out to you as particularly interesting. We noticed one, Cowboy Jack's, which was (along with Kollege Klub) named by the Minnesota Department of Health as responsible for a cluster of cases in Minneapolis.

A day later, owners temporarily shuttered both Cowboy Jack's and Cowboy Slim's, but made no mention of the virus, instead blaming "ongoing neighborhood violence, vandalism and civil unrest."

Also making the list: Rollie's Rednecks and Longnecks in Sauk Rapids, recently the site of a "Trump Victory Rally" event... one held days after the bar made news for its continued display of the Confederate flag.

The Republicans who organized that voter registration seem to have scrubbed the images they tweeted, but -- and this will shock you -- we don't remember seeing anyone there wearing a mask.

Then again, if you still needed a reason not to spend money with Rollie's owner Roland Hogrefe --

Hogrefe later admitted he'd used a "racial epithet," but said he'd only done so after they'd called him a "honky" and an "idiot."
Hogrefe turned his truck around and drove back toward the group, eventually ramming it into Antoine Williams, who "was knocked out, had broken teeth and needed stitches to his head, plates put into his arm and surgery to repair his intestines."

-- we're afraid you've come to the wrong website.

Read the full list of restaurants that received warning letters below:

Neisen’s Sports Bar, Savage K & J Catering , North St Paul
Route 47 Pub & Grub, Fridley
Long Siding Bar & Grill, Princeton
Danno’s, Anoka
CoV, Wayzata
Hoban Korean BBQ, Minneapolis
Pablo’s Mexican Restaurant, Shakopee
Arnie’s Friendly Folks Club, Shakopee
Princeton Speedway, Princeton
Rollie’s, Sauk Rapids
Breakfast Bar, Minneapolis
The Stadium, Annandale
Cowboy Jacks, Minneapolis