Owner of Alibi Drinkery, who flouted COVID-19 shutdown, now selling bars

Alibi Drinkery in Lakeville, Minnesota defied the governor's order for a second day by remaining open for on-site dining. (FOX 9)

The owner of Lakeville’s Alibi Drinkery, which publicly flouted state COVID-19 restrictions by opening for in-person dining, says the business is now for sale.

The building that houses Alibi Drinkery appeared to be undergoing a facelift Tuesday as the bar was closed. The owner, Lisa Monet Zarza, defied Gov. Tim Walz’s pandemic shutdown orders in December.

Zarza said she was not looking for publicity when she opened Alibi to large crowds during the height of the pandemic, instead saying she was trying to get the governor’s attention on the issues of personal choice and the struggles of small businesses during COVID-19, especially in the hospitality industry.

Zarza’s actions cost her, however, as the state took her to court for violating the order. The business was issued thousands of dollars in fines and a 5-year liquor license revocation was hanging over her head.

In Northfield, where Zarza owns another bar called Froggy Bottoms, the state recently rejected her request to serve beer and alcohol on the site. She is trying to sell that business, too.

Republican State Senators announced Tuesday that it is time to cut some of the pandemic violators a break.

"Particularly, the smaller the business, the more difficult it was to manage this," said Sen. Paul Gazelka. "And finding a way to forego the fines, $5,000, or in that neighborhood, would mean a lot to some of these small businesses that suffered a lot."