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.READ MORE: Man Hospitalized After Hit-And-Run In Brooklyn Park
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.READ MORE: Aromatherapy Spray Linked To Deadly Tropical Disease; 1 Minnesotan Among Those Sickened In U.S.
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.MORE NEWS: Child Hurt In St. Paul Shooting; Investigation Underway
The Capitol cafeteria changes are included in the Legacy Bill, which Gov. Mark Dayton is expected to sign by this weekend.