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City nightspot fighting closure over mask violations

ST. LOUIS (AP) — City nightspot Reign Restaurant is fighting a closure order for alleged violations of mask and social distancing rules amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Dana Kelly
Reign Restaurant is at 1122 Washington Avenue downtown; its main owner is mayoral candidate Dana Kelly. The nightspot is seeking a temporary restraining order to end the city-imposed shutdown, which began Wednesday and is set to expire Oct. 23.

The restaurant alleged in its lawsuit that it was targeted by the city because Kelly has declared her intention to run against Mayor Lyda Krewson next year. Krewson is listed as a defendant in the suit along with the acting city health director, Dr. Fredrick Echols.

The city argued in a filing Friday that residents and the general public “will be at great risk” if the restaurant is permitted to reopen. It cited photos and videos taken between Sept. 5 and Oct. 9 showing large groups of patrons and workers at the bar and dance floor who were not wearing masks or social distancing.

Deputy City Counselor Robert Dierker called the claim of political targeting “absurd” and “a fanciful allegation.”

Circuit Judge Joan Moriarty has set a hearing for Monday.

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