Numerous Minneapolis restaurants are suing Democrat Mayor Jacob Frey over the city’s vaccine mandate that went into effect on Wednesday.
The mandate, issued on January 14, requires that “everyone entering an establishment that serves food or drink in Minneapolis must show proof of either being fully vaccinated against COVID-19 or having a negative PCR or antigen test taken within three days.”
Seven establishments have filed a joint lawsuit against Frey’s order, according to KMSP. The complaint was filed Thursday in Hennepin County Fourth Judicial Court.
The complaint, obtained by KMSP, states the order “is calculated and purposed to attempt to prod the general public toward vaccination.”
The lawsuit later reads in part:
48. 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. 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 to enforce the requirements of Emergency Regulation 2022—5.
49. These actions constitute misuse of mayoral power aimed to further at best long-term public health policy, and at minimum personal agenda item of Mayor Frey, and are certainly not the intent or purpose for which the emergency powers outlined in Minneapolis Code of Ordinances §§ 128.50 or 128.60 or Minn. Stat. 12.29.
One of the attorneys representing the plaintiffs, Francis Rondoni, spoke with KMSP regarding the lawsuit.
“Jacob Frey does not have the power to do what he did. You cannot just act by edict or fiat, as they say. There’s a legislative process that has to occur and he bypassed that,” Rondoni said.
Rondoni made clear to the outlet that his clients are not against vaccinations, adding they want to be treated the same as other Minneapolis businesses.
“To put bar owners in a situation where they are arguing with patrons about whether they can get in or not is also a safety issue,” Rondoni stated.
The plaintiffs include:
Bright Red Group, LLC (d/b/a Smack Shack), 90’s Minneapolis, LLC (d/b/a The Gay 90’s), PJ. Hafiz Club Management, Inc. (d/b/a Sneaky Pete’s), Urban entertainment, LLC (d/b/a Wild Greg’s Saloon), Urban Forage, LLC (d/b/a Urban Forage), and MikLin Enterprises, Inc. (d/b/a Jimmy John’s), Inc. (d/b/a Bunkers Music Bar 8t Grill)
Frey’s Office sent a statement to KMSP:
Mayor Frey’s approach is straightforward: keep our hospitals from being overwhelmed and keep our valuable small businesses open. That is precisely why he moved forward with this temporary and flexible approach in anticipation of the rising case numbers and hospitalizations. Doing nothing in the face of clear public health data was not an option.
“A hearing on a temporary restraining order is scheduled for Monday,” KMSP reports.
The case is Bright Red Group, LLC (d/b/a Smack Shack) v. City of Minneapolis, No. 27-CV-22-867, in District Court of Hennepin County, Minnesota.