Ellison’s office plans to sue restaurant owner for defying Walz orders

Larvita McFarquhar, owner of Havens Garden in Lynd, Minnesota, intends to keep her restaurant open for in-person service in defiance of Gov. Tim Walz’s COVID-19 orders

Larvita McFarquhar, owner of Havens Garden. (Havens Garden/Facebook)

Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison’s office plans to sue a Minnesota restaurant owner to prevent her from hosting an open mic night Friday.

Larvita McFarquhar, owner of Havens Garden in Lynd, Minnesota, intends to open her restaurant for in-person service in defiance of Gov. Tim Walz’s COVID-19 orders and host a live music event Friday night.

Ellison’s office threatened to fine McFarquhar up to $25,000 per violation or send her to jail for up to a year in a letter sent Monday, Alpha News reported.

Now, Alpha News has learned that Ellison plans to file a lawsuit against McFarquhar to prevent her from opening.

“I wanted to touch base with you one more time to see if you would consider not serving food or beverages for on-site consumption at your restaurant moving forward and that you would cancel the indoor mic event. Is that something that you have given any more thought to?” Assistant Attorney General Noah Lewellen asked McFarquhar over the phone Tuesday, according to a recording of the conversation.

McFarquhar didn’t back down, saying she will proceed with the event as planned.

“Ok, the Attorney General’s Office is going to file a lawsuit against you and we’re going to ask for a temporary restraining order to stop that event from moving forward and stop the on-site consumption,” said Lewellen.

Action 4 Liberty, a local group that has been leading the charge to end Gov. Walz’s emergency powers, said it is organizing the grassroots in Marshall, Minnesota, and the surrounding communities to stand up for McFarquhar.

“It’s clear that Gov. Walz and Attorney General Ellison actually have a vision of Two Minnesotas,” Action 4 Liberty President Jake Duesenberg said. “Larvita is a courageous, small business owner and single mother who refuses to comply with Walz’s illegal orders. Her liberties need to be protected by our elected officials, not trampled on. We need Justice for Larvita”

Duesenberg’s organization has launched a “Justice for Larvita” petition page.