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Stores Busy As Sunday Liquor Sales Start In Minnesota

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) -- It's a historic day in the state of Minnesota.

Alcohol sales at liquor stores are legal on a Sunday for the first time since Prohibition and one of the key people responsible is celebrating.

The move by state lawmakers banished a longstanding law known as a "Blue Law," which prohibited Sunday liquor sales.

Greenway Liquor Store in Loring Park was one of many stores open Sunday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Those are the required hours with this new deal. They tell WCCO they had a busy day, and they are far from alone.

There was a line outside the door when Stinson's in northeast Minneapolis opened. Typically, the only time people would be outside a liquor store on Sunday is if they forgot it was closed, but Stinson's was open.

And Haskell's by Lake Minnetonka in Excelsior was open as of 11 a.m. Ryan Johnson of Chanhassen said his Sunday purchase was partly out of novelty.

"A lot of people are excited about it and I think it's going to bring more tax money to the state." Johnson said.

But for many years, some shop owners weren't excited, afraid Sunday sales would just stretch out their business.  Brian Farrell is chief operating officer at Haskell's.

"Someone gives you lemons, you make lemonade, that's what we're doing here. Somebody gave us a bunch of grapes, we're selling wine today," Farrell said.

And he did sell wine, and just about anything else you can think of.  Andrea Shea of Richfield was a happy customer.

"We remembered yesterday that we had to get stuff and I was like 'Oh my gosh, we can buy it on Sunday.'  We are going out on the lake so just figured we'd stop by," Shea said.

"We weren't really sure what it was going to play out like but I think everyone's excited Sunday sales are finally here. It's such a beautiful day, we're right on the cusp of Fourth of July so it's a win-win for everybody," Farrell said.

While geography was a draw for his customers, Dan Campo on South Lyndale liquors got attention by throwing a party, with yoga and discounts.

"Our thought was if we do specials, if we embrace it with certain products and fun tastings and that we would actually be able to encourage people," Campo said.

Time will tell if the rush is a novelty or a new trend. But for now, a thirst has been satisfied.

Dave Meyer of Chaska said with a Surly in hand, "Best thing that's ever happened since I've been born."

It's preliminary, but several stores told us they had a solid day of business. Not everyone opened their stores on Sunday. Stores can opt out, and several in the metro and greater Minnesota did.


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