ALBANY -- Hundreds of people showed up in Albany today (Monday) as a central Minnesota bar owner was ready to defy the Governor's Executive Order and open his business for customers.

Shady's Hometown Tavern owner Kris Schiffler says, faced with a $25,000 fine per location per day he ultimately decided to open just one of his six locations.

That's why we wanted all of the bars to open at one time so we didn't have big crowds.  We're losing all of our rights, we're losing our businesses, we can't do it anymore.

Darrin Agnew owns Searles on Fifth Ave in downtown St. Cloud, he was also planning on opening his restaurant Monday, but decided not to take the chance of getting the hefty fine. So, instead, he was out in Albany supporting Schiffler. Agnew says he's skeptical that bars and restaurants will be allowed to open in two weeks on June 1St.

I do not believe we will open on June 1st if we do it will be so restricted that it's not going to be worth it for most small businesses opening.  We'll find out a little bit more on Wednesday.

Agnew suggested he may choose to reopen his business later this week, after hearing what the state guidelines are for bars and restaurants.

Some supporters came from great distances like Tammy Pflipsen who drove up to Albany from Shakopee.

I believe in our small businesses, I believe in our community, I believe in our rights, I believe that we're being stomped on and it's wrong.  I have a lot of respect and envy for people who chase their dreams.

About five minutes before noon Schiffler addressed the large crowd in front of his bar and announced he would not be opening after he received another phone call from Attorney General Keith Ellison, and taking the advice of his personal lawyer.

Stearns County Judge William Cashman issued the temporary restraining order Monday sought by Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison.

A GoFundMe page has been set-up to challenge the business closings possibly to the Minnesota Supreme Court.  As of Monday afternoon over $205,000 has been collected.

Enter your number to get our free mobile app