By Jo McMullen / KVSC reporter
Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison announced Friday that his office has settled a lawsuit against Shady’s Hometown Tavern, a business that violated or threatened to violate executive orders during the COVID-19 peacetime emergency last year.
The restaurant chain, commonly known as Shady’s, has six locations in Stearns, Benton, and Todd Counties and operated by Kris Schiffler.
In June of 2020 a judge blocked Schiffler’s attempt to reopen the Albany location for threatening to violate Governor Walz’s Emergency Executive Order. The terms of a consent judgment filed in Stearns County require Shady’s to pay $30,000 to the State.
The settlement comes after more than a year of litigation, which began with Shady’s widely publicized threats to violate the Emergency Executive Order, which was a temporary dial-back of certain activity to prevent transmission of COVID-19. The first complaint was filed in May 2020 with the Attorney General’s office getting a temporary restraining order at the eleventh hour, requiring Shady’s to not open its doors to the hundreds of members of the public that had gathered to participate in Shady’s illegal reopening.
The court then issued a temporary injunction barring the business from opening in violation of the executive order. Shady’s brought counterclaims against the governor and other state officials, all of which were dismissed. In August 2021, the Attorney General’s Office won a summary judgment on its claims and was allowed to seek fees for its legal costs.
The funds received in the settlement will go to the State of Minnesota’s General Fund, not the Attorney General’s Office.