Restaurant Owners Sue Minneapolis, Mayor Frey Over Vaccine Mandate


Multiple Minneapolis restaurants have banded together to sue the City of Minneapolis and Mayor Jacob Frey, alleging the recently imposed vaccine requirement mandate overreached authority.

Plaintiffs in the complaint filed in Hennepin County Fourth Judicial Court today include Bright Red Group, LLC (owners of Smack Shack), 90’s Minneapolis, LLC (The Gay 90’s), PJ. Hafiz Club Management, Inc. (Sneaky Pete’s), Urban entertainment, LLC (Wild Greg’s Saloon), Urban Forage, LLC (Urban Forage), and MikLin Enterprises, Inc. (Jimmy John’s) and I & E Inc. (Bunkers Music Bar & Grill).

According to the complaint, the emergency resolution, “is calculated and purposed to attempt to prod the general public toward vaccination… 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.”

The action seeks a declaratory judgment from the Court finding that the emergency resolution issued by Frey on Jan. 14 restricted their rights as restaurant owners by requiring them to verify COVID-19 vaccine or testing status.

On March 13, 2020, Gov. Tim Walz issued an emergency executive order declaring a peacetime emergency in response to the COVID-19.

On March 16, 2020, Mayor Frey declared a local public health emergency due to COVID-19, invoking the emergency executive authority section of the Minneapolis Emergency Operations Plan which permits a mayor limited powers, including the authority to impose curfew hours and require certain businesses within the City of Minneapolis to temporarily close. However, the ordinance does not specifically allow the mayor to restrict the operations of restaurants.

On July 1, 2021, the statewide peacetime emergency was declared to have ended, but the City of Minneapolis has subsequently determined to extend its emergency declaration in order to provide a planned, phased elimination of its emergency regulations.