MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — In the border battle for buying booze, Wisconsin has always been the winner on Sundays.
Troy Leistikow, manager at Village Wine & Spirits in Lakeland, Minnesota, has been on the losing end of it for years.
“Frustrating, especially being locally owned,” he said. “We obviously want our money in our town and our state you know, and our neighborhood.”
So when the Minnesota Senate voted in favor of repealing the ban on Sunday alcohol sales, his reaction was as expected as people crossing state lines once a week to grab a case of beer.
“I think it’s a victory,” he said.
But drive over the St. Croix River and Monday’s vote doesn’t go down so smooth.
“I was hoping it wouldn’t pass but I knew it probably would,” said Nancy Kenall, manager at Northland Liquor in Hudson, Wisconsin.
Her store is open seven days a week. She said she fully expects customers on a Sunday to show a Minnesota driver’s license.
“There were probably more Minnesota (customers) than Wisconsin,” she said.
Kenall expect to lose some business, but she’s taking a glass half-full approach.
Her store’s hours of operation on Sunday wouldn’t be restricted like those in Minnesota. The Senate wants stores to be open from 11:00 am to 6:00 pm, while the House wants to stores to be able to open by 10:00 am. Northland Liquor is open from 9:00am – 9:00pm.
Leistikow said the restricted hours don’t bother him.
“We’re still kind of big proponents of Sunday night, family night, you know everyone around the dinner table,” he said.
Customer Tim Chapeau, who lives in Minnesota, said driving across the border for alcohol is commonplace.
“In the younger days it was we probably drank it all on Saturday night and then needed refills on Sundays,” he joked. Now as a small business owner, he’s thinking more about the financial impact of Sunday liquor sales for his home state.
“I think it’ll be a great opportunity for the small business owners in the communities, especially border communities, to be able to recoup some of that lost revenue,” he said.
If the Senate and House can agree on the hours of operation on Sundays, Gov. Mark Dayton has indicated he would sign off on the bill if it made it to his desk.