Wait Almost Over For Sunday Liquor Sales

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — On Sunday’s in the summer, the parking lot at South Lyndale Liquors is reserved for family.

Owner Dan Campo said when he was a kid, his father used the empty lot to teach him how to ride a bike. On this Sunday, he was there with his wife and two kids doing the exact same thing, a tradition he gladly passes down.

“We’re gonna miss not having access to the lot in that fashion but it’s a new era,” he said.

An era that will allow him to be open for business all week. Starting July 2, liquor stores will be allowed to make sales on Sundays, thanks to a law passed earlier in the year. They are allowed to be open from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., but they are not required to be open.

Campo said he’s had to hire new employees and adjust schedules for the additional day. But aside from those hurdles, he’s excited and optimistic about what an extra day of sales can mean for his business. He said on their first Sunday open, they’ll have a food truck, liquor tastings and booth set up by Tangletown Bike Shop.

“At the end of the day this is retail. So you cannot be closed when other people in your industry are open. So we will be open and we’ll make the best of it,” he said.

In Hudson, Wis., WCCO quickly found other Minnesotans who crossed the St. Croix River to buy booze. Many were parked outside Northland Liquor, where the owners said nearly half of their Sunday sales are thanks to Minnesotans. But just because shoppers made the trip regularly doesn’t mean they’ll keep doing so after July 2.

“You don’t understand, I am so happy,” said Joshua Bleether. He drove to Wisconsin with friends from Minneapolis to buy alcohol. “I’m gonna be at the liquor store at 11 on the dot (on July 2). I ain’t got to never come out here again.”

Some, though, will continue the trek. One customer said the sales at liquor stores in the Badger State are more like steals. Northland had several signs out front offering “2 for 1” deals on cases of beer, which customers say they can’t find in Minnesota.

But saving money will soon compete with saving time as shoppers contemplate keeping their money closer to home when Sunday sales starts next month.

“We’re gonna really make it a community thing,” said Campo. “This is sort of the end of prohibition.”

Stinson Wine, Beer, Spirits in northeast Minneapolis had to hire four new employees to accommodate the new day of business. Co-owner Daniel Mays said they’re also planning to make the first Sunday a big event, with distilleries and breweries on hand to offer tastings.

We talked with a few other liquor stores who plan to make the first Sunday sales more like an event – with breweries and distilleries offering tastings. Remember – not every liquor store has to be open.

They also can adjust their hours anywhere between 11 a.m. and 6 p.m.

More from Jeff Wagner
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