On Sunday, July 2, Inver Grove Heights liquors stores will be open for the first time in city history, thanks to a new Minnesota law passed earlier this year allowing liquor stores to sell alcohol on Sundays.
It doesn’t mean all are excited about it, however.
One Inver Grove Heights liquor store employee, who wished to remain anonymous because he said it’s a sore spot with employees who now have to work Sundays, said “it’s just going to spread our sales over Saturday and Sunday versus selling more on Saturday.”
True. But now, Minnesotans no longer need to head east and flock to Wisconsin to purchase alcohol on Sundays. And that has some Inver Grove Heights liquor store owners excited.
“The consumer wanted this convenience and we are here to provide them a service,” said an Arbor Pointe Liquors spokesperson. “I can’t say anyone is excited to work Sundays, but we all get it. We hope it will be a positive. There will be a mix of less business Saturday and Monday certainly, but hopefully some extra will come in on Sundays now. Overall, Sundays will likely be at the low end of our daily business per week, but there are some circumstances that could change that, such as holidays, as long as not everyone goes to the lake, and specifically, football Sundays.”
One St. Paul liquor store owner isn’t excited about the change. In the St. Paul Pioneer Press article Sunday sales are here! Will your liquor store be open? Chuck Kanski co-owner of Solo Vino Bottle Shop in St. Paul, said the decision to stay closed was simple.
“We’re not opening,” Kanski told the Pioneer Press. “I want Sunday off with my kids, and I want my staff to have Sunday off.”
The Pioneer Press surveyed nearly 230 liquor stores in Ramsey, Washington and Dakota counties, and only nine stores said they will not be open Sundays. There are eight liquor stores in Inver Grove Heights, including:
- Arbor Pointe Liquors
- A&M Liquors
- Cameron Warehouse Liquors
- Gold Palace Liquors
- Market Liquor
- MGM Wine & Spirits
- Salem Liquors
- Trail Liquors
All Inver Grove Heights liquor stores plan to be open on July 2 during the state mandated hours of 11 a.m. – 6 p.m., except A&M Liquors. A&M Liquors plans to eventually open on Sunday’s, but will do later in July, a store employee said Friday. Market Liquor on Blaine Avenue will be open, but when asked what they think about the new laws, an owner simply said “we will have to wait and see.” An employee at Salem Liquors was excited, saying “more money,” with a laugh.
Bill Ashton, owner of Jersey’s Bar and Grill in Inver Grove Heights, doesn’t feel Sunday liquor sales will interfere much with his bar and restaurant business. Ashton expressed concern that this change however, is geared towards the big box liquor stores and large chain grocery stores, and in the long run will hurt the small neighborhood liquor store.
“I understand the frustration from a family run liquor store business,” said Ashton. “It’s paving the way for grocery stores to able to sell regular beer instead of 3.2 beer. When that happens, a lot of mom and pop liquor stores will be forced out of business.”
Ashton elaborated: “Basically, they will start by saying 3.2 beer sales on Sundays – the only day they sell any beer – are no longer there, and that they want to be able to sell strong beer and wine. Once that happens, people start buying their beer and wine at Cub. That is the main reason behind the Sunday sales push, big grocery stores hired lobbyists to pass Sunday sales, that way they have an excuse to pass them selling beer and wine. Most people don’t understand the history about liquor laws, but it’s basically what is happening with marijuana laws today, each state is passing their own laws. Eventually congress will end federal marijuana prohibition. So 100 years from now, similar law changes might be newsworthy like Sunday liquor sales.”
Arbor Pointe Liquors owners did express concerns about how this will affect small independent liquor stores, saying “hopefully on Sundays – and other days as well, consumers will continue to support small, local businesses even as laws and market policies continue to advance interests of the big boxes and chains.”
Sunday liquor store sales are finally here. Being open Sunday wasn’t an immediate concern to one Trails Liquors employee Friday. She said “I don’t have to work this Sunday, so I am not worried about it.”
And now, IGH residents now no longer have to worry about where they can get beer and alcohol on Sundays.