ST. PAUL, Minn. – The Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) says it has filed a lawsuit against The Interchange Wine & Coffee Bistro in Albert Lea.
MDH says it sent a notice of license suspension to The Interchange in December 2020, giving the business 20 days to request a hearing. MDH says it received no such request and suspended The Interchange’s restaurant license, but filed a lawsuit on January 27 claiming the business continue to provide food and drink.
“Our preference is always to work with facilities to bring them into compliance, but we owe it to the vast majority of businesses that follow the rules to have accountability for those who do not,” says MDH Assistant Commissioner Dan Huff. “The public depends upon the licensing of bars and restaurants as a basic public health measure, which is why the legislature requires that bars and restaurants have an active license in order to serve the public. With the added risks of COVID-19 transmission, it is even more critical to ensure all establishments are in compliance.”
The Interchange is also facing a 5-year liquor license revocation from the Minnesota Department of Safety and a separate lawsuit from the Minnesota Attorney General’s Office, all over alleged violations of Governor’s Walz’ COVID safety rules.