MDH sues 2 Minnesota restaurants that allowed dine-in service during COVID-19 pause

The Minnesota Department of Health has filed lawsuits against two restaurants that remained open during the COVID-19 pause that the state says are now operating without restaurant licenses.

According to MDH, lawsuits against The Interchange in Albert Lea and King Sparrow Coffee and Soda Shop in Milaca were filed last week.

The state says both restaurants were notified in December of pending suspensions against them. The owners were allowed 20 days to request a hearing on the suspensions but MDH says neither did, resulting in a suspension.

But despite the suspensions, both restaurants have continued operations.

In a live video on Tuesday, The Interchange owner Lisa Hanson argued the COVID-19 executive order issued by Governor Walz was a violation of the U.S. Constitution while trying to rally her supporters to push back against COVID-19 restrictions.

In the video, Hanson says she is facing criminal charges along with civil actions. She also says the City of Albert Lea is attempting to have her restaurant removed from the space she rents on Broadway Avenue.

In December, The Interchange was also among several restaurants that faced a liquor license suspension.