MLBA Statement on New Limits on Bars and Restaurants

(11/10/2020, St. Paul, Minn) – Today Minnesota Governor Tim Walz announced further regulations on bars and restaurants. Minnesota Licensed Beverage Association Executive Director, Tony Chesak, issued the following statement in response.

“Unfairly singling out every bar and every restaurant in Minnesota is not a scalpel – it’s a hatchet targeting one of Minnesota’s hardest hit industries this year. Bars and restaurants are only affiliated with 2% of the cases, but these new blanket rules across the state will cause more businesses to close, leaving more people unemployed and unable to support their families. We have yet to see real empirical data from state leaders showing how these regulations could help.”

Most bars and restaurants are complying with existing regulations and working to provide a safe environment for their employees and patrons, which is what we’re hearing from regulators. Punishing those who are complying is unfair and destructive to the economic livelihood of thousands. 

To make matters worse, we are unaware of any COVID -19 outbreaks being traced back to people playing amusement games – like pool or darts – in a bar or restaurant. This new rule doesn’t make any sense.

Expecting the hospitality industry to absorb this volume of responsibility and economic harm without any sort of relief is unfair and we would encourage our political leaders to pursue relief for hard-hit businesses in the hospitality industry.” 


The Minnesota Licensed Beverage Association (MLBA) represents Minnesota’s small, family-owned liquor retailers, both on-sale (of bars and restaurants) and off-sale (at liquor stores).