Mpls. Restaurants Shoot to Change Alcohol Sales Rule

Updated: 05/29/2014 6:15 PM
Created: 05/29/2014 5:11 PM
By: Cassie Hart

There’s a new push by some Minneapolis restaurant owners to change a decades-old rule when it comes to alcohol sales.

Craft beers, wine and other foodie favorites have changed the industry, making it very hard for restaurateurs to make money following the old "blue laws".

The intent of the so-called 70/30 rule was to keep the rowdy bars out of those areas. It requires restaurants to make no more than 30 percent of their money from alcohol.

Restaurant owners, like Molly Broder, are asking the city to change it. So far, there's not a lot of opposition.

"A couple could come in and order two pasta dishes for 15 each, they might want an average bottle of wine for $30, you're at 50/50. There's no way the 70/30 rule works anymore," said Broder, who owns the Terzo Vino Bar.

Broder said in the last 20 years restaurants like hers have helped raise property values and have been good neighbors.

Minneapolis City Council Member Elizabeth Glidden agrees the rules are outdated. "I think this is something that shouldn’t be in our city charter, " Glidden said.

Next week, the city charter commission is meeting to take a closer look at the issue.

Any change would require a referendum. In 2013, there were very few violations and no licenses have revoked as a result of problems, according to the city.

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