Stats bar to fight $14,000 COVID-19 ticket, owner says they were targeted

A co-owner of Mr. D’s Stats Cocktails and Dreams says she feels targeted after receiving a $14,000 ticket for not following public health orders.

Mia Danakas-Weinkauf is speaking out after the encounters she had with Saskatchewan Health Authority officials, who she says gave mixed messages.

“I don’t understand what we did wrong, everyone was wearing masks, we had only 75 people in here,” said Danakas-Weinkauf.  “There was only three or four people at a table, and some only had two, we turned away 100 people, we even locked our doors.”

The ticket was issued after the bar held a limited-seating viewing of UFC 257 last week, only allowing 75 people, a fraction of their normal capacity of 400.

Danakas-Weinkauf says officers never told her what triggered their visit, adding they claimed the bar had “multiple tables and booths with patrons who were inadequately separated by physical distancing”.

She says they told her the booths were spaced 9 and a half feet apart, instead of 10.

She says she feels she was targeted because of her stance on masks.

“This all started because I put on social media that when the masks were mandated, I made the mistake to welcome everyone into my business by saying if you’re wearing a mask I respect you, if you’re not, you’ll have to let me know you have a medical exemption,” said Danakas-Weinkauf. “This is where this all started.”

In a rare move, provincial health officials publicly named Stats, along with two businesses in Saskatoon, who also received $14,000 fines.

Danakas-Weinkauf says, since the announcement, her customers have been very supportive.

“I have never been prouder to live in this city and this province than I am right now,” said Danakas-Weinkauf. “The messages, the texts, the phone calls, people coming by, our customers saying we’ve never once ran an environment that was not safe.”

Danakas-Weinkauf says she will fight the ticket, and fight for the reputation of the bar that has been in her family for over 40 years.

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