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The Pour House, The Interchange facing suspension of liquor licenses

The Minnesota Department of Public Safety’s Alcohol and Gambling Enforcement Division has notified two Freeborn County businesses they face a 60-day suspension of their liquor licenses for ongoing violations of the governor’s executive order by selling alcohol for on-premises consumption.

A press release states the division was notified that The Interchange Wine & Coffee Bistro of Albert Lea failed to comply with a cease-and-desist order issued by the Minnesota Department of Health, and on Friday, agents observed the restaurant open for on-premises consumption of food and alcohol.

Agents also observed The Pour House of Clarks Grove open for business with a red neon “BEER” sign glowing and patrons inside consuming beverages in glass bottles consistent with beer in violation of the order, the release stated. Local law enforcement also received notice the same day the establishment was at full capacity.

The state division said it intends to suspend the liquor license of each establishment for 60 days, pending a hearing before an administrative law judge. The establishments will be notified their licenses can be revoked for five years if there are further violations.

The governor this week extended the order through Jan. 10 in an effort to further mitigate the spread of COVID-19 across the state.