All of the liquor stores in Southwest Minneapolis plan to add Sunday sales starting July 2, but owners are not necessarily happy about it.
“I feel like everything except for emergency services should be closed on Sunday,” said Dan Campo, owner of South Lyndale Liquors at 5300 Lyndale Ave. S. “That being said, we have to do it. Anybody who argues we can just stay closed has no grasp of how retail works.”
Retail is continually moving toward a 24/7 on-demand model, he said.
“I’m nervous as a business owner because we don’t know economically what the impact of Sunday sales will be,” he said.
To ease the transition for staff, Campo said they will barbecue staff lunches and try to keep Sundays fun, implementing a rotating work schedule.
“If we have to do it, let’s have a good time with it and embrace it,” he said.
South Lyndale Liquors is hosting a party July 2 with food trucks, morning yoga in the parking lot, bike tune-ups and Cannondale bike demos by the Tangletown Bike Shop.
Edina Liquor at 50th & France is planning lots of tastings for the first few Sundays.
“Once it became an option, pretty much you roll with it,” said Assistant Manager Joe Labosky.
The state’s ban on Sunday liquor store sales dates back to 1935. Gov. Mark Dayton signed a bipartisan law reversing the prohibition early this spring, citing polling data that show two-thirds of Minnesotans support the idea.
Store owners reached for comment were less enthusiastic.
“We don’t have much choice,” said Phil Colich, owner of Hennepin Lake Liquors at 1200 W. Lake St. He said he’d prefer to give his employees the day off, and he doesn’t expect a boost to overall business.
“When all your competition is open on Sunday, then you want to be also,” he said.
Hum’s Liquor at 2126 Lyndale Ave. S. is currently closed for remodel, but new owner Hanh Van plans to reopen the first week of July. The shop is completely gutted and features large new windows. Van considered stretching the exterior renovations down 22nd Street, but decided to preserve the Grain Belt mural at the request of neighbors. He said he has no problem offering Sunday sales.
Additional stores adding Sunday sales include Lake Wine & Spirits at 404 W. Lake St., Franklin-Nicollet Liquor Store at 2012 Nicollet Ave., Lowry Hill Liquors at 1922 Hennepin Ave., France 44 Wine & Cheese Shop at 4351 France Ave. S. and Kowalski’s Wine Shop at 2440 Hennepin Ave.
According to research by Heidi Heller at Augsburg’s Historyapolis project, Minneapolis liquor sellers faced a series of restrictions after Congress lifted prohibition in 1933. Stores could not install curtains or blinds, taverns closed from 1-6 a.m., liquor couldn’t be sold within 200 feet of a school, alcohol was not allowed in public dance halls where dancing was the “principal feature,” and only seated patrons could be served alcohol.