Judge rules to revoke Alibi Drinkery's liquor license for reopening during restrictions

Alibi Drinkery in Lakeville, Minnesota reopened in violation of COVID-19 dining restrictions in December 2020. (FOX 9)

An administrative law judge ruled to revoke the liquor license of Alibi Drinkery, a Lakeville restaurant which repeatedly reopened in violation of COVID-19 restrictions.

Judge Eric Lipman determined the license could be sanctioned if local liquor ordinances were violated. The local ordinance for Lakeville requires compliance will all liquor laws, including executive orders from the governor.

In the order, Judge Lipman expressed sympathy for the "very real tragedy" of the COVID-19 pandemic's impact on business at the Alibi.

"Such calamities can quickly destroy years’ worth of effort spent building a business, a brand and a clientele," wrote Lipman. "Alibi’s misfortunes are very real."

However, Lipman explained such hardship does not exclude the restaurant from discipline.

"Likewise, clear is the legal authority of the Governor to issue Executive Orders regulating the occupancy of structures during an emergency and for [Alcohol and Gambling Enforcement Division] to punish licensees who violate local liquor licensing restrictions," he wrote.

The Commissioner of the Department of Public Safety will make the final decision after reviewing the case. Alibi is still allowed to file exceptions to the report, which the commissioner can consider.