By Reg Chapman

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — The owner of Surdyk’s is ready to pay a bigger fine in order to keep their doors open longer.

Jim Surdyk opened for business days after state lawmakers repealed Minnesota’s ban on Sunday liquor sales.

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But there was one big problem: The law hadn’t taken effect yet.

Surdyk’s Liquor has been a staple in northeast Minneapolis for more than 80 years.

“We’re a leader in the industry, so we have to be a leader and start out first,” said Jim Surdyk.

That’s what owner Jim Surdyk said on Sunday, March 12, when he opened his doors for business.

“First Sunday we can be open and we are open. We’re ahead of the game,” Surdyk said.

Surdyk was warned about his clear violation of state law and city ordinance but he continued to sell liquor on Sunday.

“They changed the law and the governor signed it. Everybody seems to want it and why send tax dollars to Wisconsin. Let’s be open, why wait,” Surdyk said.

The next day, Surdyk was hit with a Notice of Adverse License Action.

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Both sides negotiated and last month a City Council committee rejected a settlement of a 10 day license suspension and a $6,000 fine.

“Shutting down the store is probably a bad move for the employees so it’s a good thing that they are doing a different penalty,” said Ezra Thormodsgaard.

The new License Settlement Agreement calls for a $50,000 fine.

The liquor store will close for three Sundays, July 2, 9 and 16, but the cheese shop may remain open for business.

“He shouldn’t have done it. Whether the city is a little over reach, maybe, but I have no idea why he would do it in the first place,” said David Hyde.

Surdyk and his attorney are quiet today, saying they want to respect the process.

No matter what happens, people in this community say they will never stop supporting this family-owned business.

“It’s a great place and the community needs it,” Hyde said.

If the Community Development and Regulatory Services committee approves the agreement, it will then go to City Council for a vote.

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Surdyky will have until May 31 to pay that $50,000 civil penalty fine to the city of Minneapolis.

Reg Chapman