MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Minnesota residents have the option of purchasing alcohol from their local liquor store on a Sunday for the first time in history.
Alcohol retailers are allowed to remain open from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sundays now that Minnesota has ended its more than century-old ban on Sunday liquor sales, the Star Tribune (http://strib.mn/2tfKUeb ) reported.
Previously, residents who wanted a drink on Sunday had to head to a bar or drive to a liquor store in Wisconsin.
“It feels as if a freedom has been lifted,” said Fred Kreider, who went to Zipps Liquors in Minneapolis to buy a keg of beer Sunday.
Sales were brisk for Zipps Liquor during the first day of the new law, said owner Jennifer Schoenzeit.
Liquor vendors in Wisconsin said they didn’t notice a difference in their sales.
“We’re open 13 hours, and six of those hours Minnesota is closed,” said Shelton Davis, the night manager at Chicones Liquor Mart in Hudson, Wisconsin. “We don’t panic; we’ve got good deals.”
Ending the ban could lead to further deregulation, said Minnesota Municipal Beverage Association Executive Director Paul Kaspszak. Grocery stores, convenience stories and big-box retailers such as Total Wine may lobby for fewer restrictions, he said.
“All of a sudden they want to sell chardonnay with the Cheerios, and they want to sell beer with the chicken and then we have a problem,” Kaspszak said.
The increased operating costs of staying open an additional day are also a cause of concern, said Buffalo Lake Liquor manager Karissa Kurth.
Some store owners fear the increased overhead will make it difficult for small family-owned stores to compete against bigger retailers.
North St. Paul’s Brightwines is a one-man shop that specializes in high-quality wines.
“This law is not designed to help us; this, in fact, ignores us,” said owner Dave Kuennen.
Information from: Star Tribune, http://www.startribune.com
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