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Mpls. City Council Votes To Cut Food-Liquor Ratio Ordinance

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) -- The city of Minneapolis has gotten rid of a liquor law that's been in place for decades.

The Minneapolis City Council voted 12-0 Friday to scrap the old ordinance that required restaurants to make 60 percent of their revenue from food and cap alcohol sales at 40 percent.

"A burger is ten dollars and craft beers are anywhere from $6.50 to $8. So, if you have two of those and one sandwich, you can't hit that number," Keegan's Irish Pub owner Marty Neumann said.

The 60/40 rule started in 1983 as a way to keep bars in residential areas from becoming neighborhood trouble spots.

Restaurant owners have had trouble complying.

"The common sense move was just to repeal the measure all together," Minneapolis city council member Jacob Frey said.

Frey has been working with restaurant owners to come up with other ways of regulating restaurants, rather than forcing them to adhere to a food and liquor ratio.

"This is a common sense change that helps us move with the times," he said.

"We're setting up new criteria of what a restaurant is instead of percentages, which are kind of archaic," Wilde Roast Café owner Dean Schlaak said.

Still the fate of restaurants in residential areas has yet to be decided.

Voters will choose whether to throw out their 70/30 ratio in November.

"I know of a few places it's a constant battle," Schlaak said. "Some I know for a fact are lying on their reporting, just to keep their doors open."

For customers, no 60/40 ordinance means owners of their favorite restaurants may choose to open new ones.

"I think it's great for independent bar owners and the state of Minnesota," Keegan's customer Kathryn Duncan said.


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