Local health agency threatens license of defiant restaurant owner 

Kloss said McFarquhar’s restaurant could be ordered to close immediately if “conditions are found that can impact the health and safety of the public.” 

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

A local health agency is threatening to strip a Lynd, Minnesota, restaurant owner of her food service license for proceeding with an open-mic night event on Friday.

Larvita McFarquhar, owner of Haven’s Garden, has already been threatened by the Attorney General’s Office and her local sheriff with thousands of dollars in fines, up to a year in jail and a lawsuit, Alpha News reported.

Under an executive order from Gov. Tim Walz, bars and restaurants are required to close for in-person service for at least four weeks to help slow the spread of COVID-19.

Now, Southwest Health and Human Services (SWHHS) is threatening to revoke McFarquhar’s food service license for violating that order.

“Haven’s Garden was issued a 2020 Food Service License by SWHHS. This license is contingent on meeting applicable state and local requirements, including Executive Order 20-99. Indoor dining and the planned gathering scheduled for November 27 from 9 p.m. – 11 p.m. would be considered a violation of EO 20-99, requiring SWHHS inspection staff to proceed with enforcement action,” Jason Kloss, environmental health manager for SWHHS, said in a recent letter to McFarquhar.

Kloss said McFarquhar’s restaurant could be ordered to close immediately if “conditions are found that can impact the health and safety of the public.”

“This notification is a reminder that Southwest Health and Human Services will charge a re-inspection fee for follow-up inspections related to the enforcement of Executive Order 20-99 requirements. In addition to this re-inspection fee, SWHHS will initiate administrative action against your Food Service License if corrective actions are not taken on observed violations,” he continued.

Kloss also called McFarquhar earlier this week to inform her that she could lose her license, according to a recording of the conversation obtained by Alpha News.

“Believe me, I take no joy in doing this, but I have to enforce that governor’s executive order and if you do happen to have a gathering, then, yeah, we’ll proceed with administrative action against your license,” Kloss said in the phone call.

Read his letter:

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