Minneapolis small business owners, who are desperately trying to rebuild amid the neverending pandemic, are now grappling with tyrannical coronavirus restrictions that threaten to paralyze them again. This time, they’re fighting back.
On Thursday, the owners of seven local restaurants and club venues sued the city of Minneapolis and its Democratic Mayor, Jacob Frey, saying he overstepped his authority when he announced a sweeping vaccine mandate on Jan. 12.
In their lawsuit, filed in Hennepin County district court, the owners of Wild Greg’s Saloon, Smack Shack, Gay 90’s, Sneaky Pete’s, Urban Forage, Jimmy John’s and Bunkers Music Bar & Grill said the mandate imposes undue burdens on them that contradict guidance from the state and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The plaintiffs also accuse Frey of weaponizing the mandate to force vaccinations on Minneapolis residents.
“Minneapolis bars and restaurants are being used as pawns to further Mayor Frey’s agenda of pushing for and convincing the public to get vaccinated,” the lawsuit said.
“Whether the end being sought is noble, the scheme is forcing restaurants and bars to lose additional patrons and business that have already been reduced over the past two years and incur new costs and burdens.”
Under Frey’s vaccine mandate, customers of food and drink establishments must show proof of vaccination or a negative test within the last 72 hours.
Greg Urban, the owner of Wild Greg’s Saloon, blasted the edict, saying it’s an abuse of power that endangers the safety of his employees.
“Last thing I want is one of my employees in a fistfight with somebody over whether they can be allowed in because of a vaccine card,” Urban told KARE-TV on Friday. “I don’t think I should be the enforcement arm of the city.”
In order to enforce the mandate, the small business owners said, they would have to hire more employees to check vaccine cards and eject unvaccinated people.
That’s unfair, expensive and overly burdensome.
“It’s very clear that this is being used as a way to coerce people to getting the vaccine, and I think it’s a terrible way,” Urban told KARE. “A lot of people don’t respond well to being forced.”
We’ve already seen that enforcing vaccine mandates can ignite violent outbursts among angry customers.
In September, a hostess at Carmine’s Italian restaurant in New York City was brutally attacked by three women because the employee asked to see their vaccine cards.
— Eyewitness News (@ABC7NY) September 17, 2021
Then, there are heartbreaking scenes like this, where a frightened 5-year-old starts crying while being kicked out of an Applebee’s restaurant for not having a vaccine card.
Evil. Gestapo. KGB.
NYPD Attacking a 5 year old eating pizza? Take off your badges, oath breakers.
New York City is a failed state.
— Benny (@bennyjohnson) December 28, 2021
In their lawsuit, the plaintiffs said Frey’s vaccine mandate will cripple their struggling businesses.
“In order to comply with the regulations, Plaintiffs, restaurants and bars in the City 0f Minneapolis, will have to hire additional staff in order to enforce the ordinance, including checking every patron for the complex requirements as between the proof of vaccination or testing, including the source of that information and the time lapse in relation to the same,” the complaint said.
The lawsuit continued: “Plaintiffs anticipate not only having to hire the additional staff, but the staff having difficulty determining valid vaccination cards, forgeries, appropriate tests, language barriers, and time periods, not to mention having to deal with members of the public that are combative or argumentative regarding whether they can enter the establishment or the validity of the documents or information they are presenting for entry.”
The plaintiffs said the mandate will cause them to lose business to restaurants and bars outside the city that don’t impose such restrictions.
“Further, Plaintiffs anticipate that customers of their establishments, including past and prospective, Minneapolis citizens and non-citizens, are likely to choose to go to restaurants and bars in surrounding cities that have no such requirements,” the lawsuit said.
There’s no doubt the vaccine mandate will hurt the city’s small businesses, which have already suffered so much in recent years.
In March 2020, Frey ordered bars and restaurants to shut down in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
That summer, numerous local businesses were destroyed during the Black Lives Matter riots that erupted following George Floyd’s death in police custody.
— Andy Ngô 🏳️🌈 (@MrAndyNgo) August 24, 2020
Now, the dwindling remaining businesses are being forced to jump through inane hoops in order to stay solvent amid raging inflation, supply-chain disruptions and terrifying crime waves.
Enough is enough.
Truth and Accuracy
We are committed to truth and accuracy in all of our journalism. Read our editorial standards.