Trader Joe's vs. the Wedge (& Hum's)
The proposed site of the new TJ's.
Art Hughes has a nice piece in TC Daily Planet reporting from the recent Whittier neighborhood meeting. He details the sticking point on Trader Joe's proposed move into the Le Parisian building, which hinges on the fact that TJ's wants an adjacent wine/beer shop--a violation of a state law that prohibits liquor stores within 2,000 feet of one another in Minneapolis and St. Paul (Hum's is right already right across the street).
The developer has already received an exemption from the Minneapolis City Council (by a narrow vote), but he also needs to convince the state and the neighbors, which may be the toughest sell.
In the piece, the Wege's GM makes a good point about the fairness of the exemption, noting that the co-op never asked for a liquor license because they knew the law would prohibit it as long as Hum's was still in business.
In any case, the TJ's debate will set a broader precident about liquor licenses: Is the 2,000 foot rule out of date or is it a useful protection to keep neighborhoods from being overrun by liquor stores?