Efforts To Change Mpls’ Alcohol Sales Laws Gain Momentum

Restaurants say the liquor laws have not kept up with the times.

Story by Rick Kupchella's BringMeTheNews.com

Efforts are ramping up to lift Minneapolis laws that require some restaurants to sell more food than alcohol. Some business owners complain the rules are out-of-date and hurt their bottom line.

The restrictions mandate that some establishments derive no more than 30 to 40 percent of revenue from selling alcohol, the Star Tribune reports. But with the craft beer and wine prices rising, some say the laws no longer make sense.

The rules “aren’t realistic anymore,” Minneapolis licensing director Grant Wilson told the Star Tribune.

…more expensive alcohol skews the ratio but doesn’t lead to any increase in neighborhood disturbances. A fancier beer, for instance, could cost twice as much as two or three cheap ones and skew a restaurant’s food to alcohol ratio.

The Star Tribune reports the city’s charter commission plans to hold a hearing on the issue next Wednesday.

Molly Broder, who owns Broders’ Pasta Bar and other restaurants told the Star Tribune the liquor laws have not kept up with the times.

When her customers order an $80 bottle of wine with their pasta, she says she worries about selling enough food.

“Why shouldn’t they have that bottle of wine if they want? Why should I say, ‘No, I can’t sell it, you have to buy this $20 bottle of wine’? … They are spending a little more because their tastes have changed.”

The problem is, the laws are tied to the city charter, so it’ll take a City Council vote, and a voter referendum to change them, WCCO reports.

The owners of some neighborhood restaurants like Turtle Bread and Lynn on Bryant have been lobbying in favor of changing the law, saying there are other ways to keep their restaurants from turning into drinking joints.