Fargo mayor drafting executive order on bar & restaurant capacity

FARGO, N.D. – Fargo Mayor Dr. Tim Mahoney tells KVRR he expects to release an executive order requiring bars and restaurants to adhere to 25 percent capacity and have customers wear masks either on Thursday, November 12 or Friday November 13.

Mahoney says if businesses don’t comply, they risk losing their liquor license for a couple of days. The decision to pull a liquor license would be made by the City Commission. He adds the city would make bars and restaurants aware of the order.

Public health officials would be sent in to make sure businesses would comply with the order and document what’s going on and the police department would be involved if they need to intervene, Mahoney adds.


Mahoney says he is aware of ’90s dance parties scheduled at The Windbreak on Thursday, Friday and Saturday. He has concerns about capacity and people not wearing masks at those events.

KVRR has left a message with The Windbreak to get management’s thoughts on the proposed order and haven’t heard back.

“We have a lot of people that are compliant. We’re pleased with them, but when you look at the numbers the hospitalizations are going up. Talking to my health care teams it appears to me we may climb the next two weeks,” Mahoney said.

The mayor says the order is being made to keep businesses open but also not have people spread Covid-19.

“It’s that odd balance of how do you survive your business but not be too overcrowded and spread the disease? And that’s what we’re really going to push hard over the next two weeks,” Mahoney said.

Mahoney says he doesn’t want hospitals to be overwhelmed. Earlier this week, North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum announced hospitals in the state are at 100 percent capacity. 20 percent of people occupying hospital beds have the coronavirus.

Mahoney is concerned with Minnesotans coming to Fargo bars and restaurants since Minnesota Governor Tim Walz passed restrictions earlier this week closing those businesses to in-person customers at 10:00 PM starting Friday. He says what he’s seeing at Fargo bars is they aren’t as busy as they have been in the past during the pandemic.

Categories: Coronavirus, Coronavirus-ND, Health, Local News, North Dakota News