ST. PAUL (WCCO) — There are few other places in the historic Minnesota State Capitol where beer drinking should be more welcome: The basement cafeteria, styled as a German Rathskeller. Now, for the first time in almost 100 years, alcohol may be available on certain occasions.

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The walls of the Rathskeller are unexpectedly colorful, featuring forest animals, patriotic symbols and drinking slogans — in original German.

Now, State Rep. Phyllis Kahn is trying to revive another century-old tradition here, alcohol, which may have been commonly sold in the original Capitol.

Kahn is the author of a new law allowing the public to rent the Rathskeller for special events, like weddings, receptions and permit the sale of beer and wine.

“This is a terrific area that ought to be used more than it is,” Kahn said.

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The Rathskeller was restored to its original design in 1999: Resurrecting a curious past of political persecution.

It was 1917, during a war-time wave of anti-German hysteria, the Rathskeller was whitewashed literally.

Painted over on the orders of Minnesota’s Commission on Public Safety, which was a state group with sweeping powers to investigate German immigrants and left-leaning union members.

The Capitol rathskeller is not available for rental yet.

A $109 million dollar Capitol renovation is underway that could take several years. When it’s finished, it could be in demand.

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The Capitol cafeteria changes are included in the Legacy Bill, which Gov. Mark Dayton is expected to sign by this weekend.