St. Paul to consider change to longstanding liquor law

The St. Paul City Council is one step away from changing a liquor law provision that has been part of city code for decades.

Right now, liquor stores, including wine shops, have to be at least a half-mile apart. The owners of Yoerg Brewery, 378 Maria Avenue, would like to open a new wine store on an adjacent property to the brewery, but it would be within that half-mile restriction.

The brewery, along with St. Paul City Council members Jane Prince and Dai Thao, would like to change that half-mile restriction to a quarter-mile for wine store licenses only.

“This would be an opportunity for business owners to pursue another venue which is greatly needed on the city’s east side,” Prince said. “It would provide that business opportunity and it wouldn’t affect all of the existing off-sale liquor establishments.”

The Minnesota Licensed Beverage Association sent a letter to the St. Paul City Council opposing the proposal “for several reasons.”

The letter also stated, “There are questions on the legality of a manufacturer to hold both licenses.” It also said it could “cause a multitude of safety problems," such as increased exposure and access to minors.

The St. Paul City Council takes a final vote on the measure Wednesday.