Alcohol law might change the way some businesses operate

1Moorhead, MN (WDAY TV) – After years of discussion and debate, the door is now partially open for the sale of certain beer on Sundays in Minnesota.

The bill Governor Dayton signed also changes hours for alcohol sales in bars and restaurants.

WDAY 6 reporter Drew Trafton tells us what strings come attached, and if local business owners are popping bottles in celebration.

In terms of being competitive, at least one restaurant and one craft brewery from the cities of Moorhead and Dilworth seem to be on board with the changes.

Aaron Juhnke/Co-Owner of Junkyard Brewing Company, “All that business that is being driven out of Minnesota on Sunday on the border cities is now staying in Minnesota.” 

The biggest change you’ll notice in Moorhead, alcoholic beverages will start going on sale in restaurants at 8:00 in the morning.

At the Red Hen in Dilworth, manager Adam Birmingham says the normal noon opening hour on Sundays will likely be cast aside in favor of an early bird mentality.

Birmingham, “Especially during, like, football season people are out earlier. Because we open up at 11:30 during football season, just to get people in the door a little bit. But, absolutely it would be motivation. if there’s desire to open up earlier we will gladly oblige. “

Another change, state law now allows for 25 ounce to 64 ounce jugs of craft beer, commonly known as growlers, to be sold on Sundays when liquor stores are closed.

Junkyard Brewing Company is the only eligible business open in Moorhead. Currently, Junkyard, which has already doubled production capacity since opening a tap room in September, is closed on Sundays. But, that could soon change due to pressure from the new law and a loyal customer base. 

Juhnke, “Yeah, I feel like our consumers, they’ve already started asking, ‘So, are you guys going to open up on Sundays? Are you going to offer growlers on Sundays? It’s like, and we’re thinking, ‘lets just get through the week first of all and try to make it to the end of the week with the growlers that we are able to offer and then we’ll just take it one step at a time and maybe open up on Sundays.”

There’s also a local government angle as well as the state law allows city governments to decide how it will enforce. City clerk Michelle French says the city attorney is working on a draft of an ordinance that would align with state law for when Junkyard, or another business, decides to tackle Sunday sales. The earliest a city ordinance could go in to effect would be May 29th.



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