As of July 1, the public has the opportunity to purchase alcohol off-sale on Sundays as a result of a law approved by the Minnesota legislature during the 2017 session. When the Sunday sales law was adopted it approved the rule statewide in every city.
However, that does not mean those selling liquor have to be open.
In late May the Redwood Falls city council held a work session, and one of the topics discussed during that meeting was the decision to be open Sundays for off-sale at the municipally owned liquor store, the Liquor Lodge.
According to Keith Muetzel, city administrator, at the end of the discussion the city council opted not to move forward with opening on Sundays. The council cited concerns about increased costs and staffing issues as the reasons for the decision not to be open Sundays.
As a result, it directed city staff to continue operating at the Liquor Lodge as they currently are.
According to District 16 Sen. Gary Dahms, the topic of Sunday off-sale has been discussed for a number of years at the capitol in St. Paul, but up until this year there had not been the support from the legislature to move forward with it.
The law officially goes into effect July 1, which means this coming Sunday (July 2) is the first in which entities offering liquor off-sale will legally be able to sell it. The hours of sale under the law are from 11 a.m. until 6 p.m.
The issue of Sunday off-sale became a growing one, especially for those communities along the border with Wisconsin where the Sunday off-sale law has been in effect. Loss of business to Wisconsin prompted local business owners and the public as a whole to begin pushing for the change in the law in Minnesota.
Dahms said this was really a push by the general public, adding he recalls hearing about it as a serious subject back in 2011, adding the interest from the public regarding the issue has grown over the years. Dahms said he did not support the bill, adding at the least he wishes the hours of operation would have started later in the day.
However, the bill has become law in Minnesota, and now any entity has the legal right to be open Sundays.
“People have the option to be open, but they don’t have to be,” said Dahms.
Dahms said the bill passed overwhelmingly in the legislature.
In the City of Redwood Falls the only entity that would have had the option for off-sale is the Liquor Lodge.