Opening of Total Wine & More in Bloomington Delayed Again

Updated: 12/17/2013 11:17 AM
Created: 12/17/2013 9:14 AM
By: Josh Rosenthal

Total Wine & More is a giant. They've got nearly 100 stores in 14 states. Bloomington could be their first store in Minnesota, but getting a liquor license hasn't been easy.

"It's been an unusual case," said Bloomington City Attorney Sandra Johnson.

The Minnesota Licensed Beverage Association sent Bloomington City Attorney Sandra Johnson a stack of Total Wine related court cases, mostly from other states. That caused one delay of Total Wine's liquor license vote because the Beverage Association told us -- they are "interested in a fair application of the rules around liquor licensing." The vote just got pushed back a second time and now it's scheduled for April.

"What we're doing right now is we're letting Total Wine's attorneys bring me their evidence, their rebuttal," Johnson explained.

So the Total Wine in Bloomington may not open anytime soon, but it is having an effect on other liquor stores that are already here.

As Ted Farrell put it, "the one thing we've always said at Haskell's is good competition makes you a better retailer." Farrell is president of Haskell's and says they've needed more space for a while. They're opening a new 20,000 square foot "super cellar" in Maple Grove this week, and Farrell calls Total Wine "the straw that broke the camel's back."

He added, "when you're in competition with people you just got to be as good or hopefully better than they are."

So Total Wine still has a big stack of paper between them and Minnesota, but their presence is already being felt.

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