Voters will decide the fate of 70/30 alcohol sales rule

Categories: News

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Quinn Dombrowksi
The 70/30 rule restricting Minneapolis neighborhood alcohol sales may soon be forgotten.

Minneapolis restaurateurs have passed the first hurdle in eliminating an onerous alcohol sales restriction, as the future of the 70/30 rule will be decided by voters in the city's upcoming November elections.

The 70/30 rule, put into effect in 1997, requires that Minneapolis restaurants in residential areas earn the bulk of their revenue from selling food -- at least 70 percent from food sales and no more than 30 percent from alcohol (more specifically, beer and wine) sales.

Back in February, restaurants including Broder's Pasta Bar, Tilia, and Turtle Bread Company sought to take back control of their businesses from the city charter, drafting a petition against the 70/30 rule.

See also:
Local restaurateurs petition against onerous alcohol rule

The petition originally requested that alcohol license guidelines be in City Council's control rather than the city charter. The Charter commission responded by agreeing to hold a referendum on the 70/30 rule, allowing Minneapolis voters to decide.

Roughly 70 Minneapolis restaurants are affected by the rule. For 70/30 restaurant owners like Molly Broder, this vote determines the long-term success of her three restaurants. The 70/30 rule was created in an attempt to curb a potential bar crowd from overpowering residential communities, but Broder insists we have nothing to worry about.

"This is not a bar movement, this is a movement for restaurants," she says. "We're not trying to open up bars on every corner of the city, and that has never been the intention."

According to Broder, if the rule is amended, the City Council is still going to be harsher on the original 70/30 group than they will be on restaurants in more commercialized zones. Overall, however, it'll just be business as usual.

"There are many of us who are out of compliance," she says, "so it will [just] mean we won't have to worry anymore."

Despite the progress 70/30 restaurants have made in amending the rule, Broder isn't celebrating just yet.

"We have to educate the public," she says. "55 percent [of the public vote required] is a lot different than getting the majority of the City Council."



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27 comments
Noah Fentz
Noah Fentz

More bureaucratic red tape BS. Stay out of our bars politicians!!!

Jane L. Helgestad
Jane L. Helgestad

You can still have regulations in place about requiring an establishment to sell food.....but when you can have a very responsible 2 glasses of wine and a salad or sandwich and your 70/30 the OPPPSITE way then yes..... Something is wrong with the way this law is written and needs to be updated for sure!

Rosemary Erb
Rosemary Erb

I would rally for keeping this rule. I don't want to live next door to a neighborhood joint that can serve without food purchase. Call me biased but I really think there's more to life than craft beer or white sangria.

Chris Hiatt
Chris Hiatt

I'll tell ya what needs to go. Voting. All this pointless voting.

Ross Hassel
Ross Hassel

I will say most of the people on here are idiots. I've bartending for almost 20 years. I don't think most understand the concept you need to eat before you drink. You can't have a couple of fries and then drink 10 drinks. I also say you have more than 3 shots in a 2 hour period you have douchebag moron tattooed on your forehead.

Samantha Loesch
Samantha Loesch

These regulations were set up when a beer cost $1.50. Now people drink local craft beers that are more expensive. It makes no sense to have restrictions based on cost. They don't limit the amount people drink, just the choices available. (And, by the way, it's better for the local economy to sell pricier local beers)

Bert Schlauch
Bert Schlauch

Can I order half a beer or 1/3 rd of a fancy mixed drink with my burger and fries?

Brad Conley
Brad Conley

"We're not trying to open up bars on every corner of the city, and that has never been the intention." It is highly recommended to learn the history of public intoxication in Minneapolis, going all the way back, to see why such a regulation exists. After a few good months of legal and legislative research you may have a different opinion, at least a bit more evolved than "fuck the government."

Samantha Loesch
Samantha Loesch

Michael, even without 70-30 rules, over serving is (and always will be) illegal, but it doesn't really put restrictions on how much people drink, because the restrictions are on the price and not amount of alcohol (so a restaurant serving $2 beers can serve 3 times as much as a restaurant that serves a local $6 beer). And before this law was implemented neighborhood restaurants were dry, so your reasoning is a bit faulty there.

Michael Ryan
Michael Ryan

Well, it keeps people from getting drunk, so I think it should remain. I remember when people used to get drunk before this rule, but ever since it was implemented no on gets drunk or rowdy anymore. Drunk rowdies are annoying, could you all be quite for fucks sake? Nova is on.

Michele Andrews
Michele Andrews

I don't need the government to nanny me. I was full grown nearly 32 years ago.

Hunter Hawes
Hunter Hawes

remember midnight last call? that would have made for a fun Super Bowl

Hunter Hawes
Hunter Hawes

Minnesota had the most insane liquor laws

Curtis Slepica
Curtis Slepica

Great rule but maybe lower it to 60%. All we need is more fucking bars.

Samantha Loesch
Samantha Loesch

I know firsthand how restrictive this rule is (god forbid someone wants 2 $6 beers with their $10 burger), not to mention the other restrictions on 70/30 restaurants, like not being allowed to serve alcohol before a customer orders a meal. It's stupid.

Matt Legas
Matt Legas

outdated, archaic, and business unfriendly. End the alcohol guild system in Minnesota.

Demeko Code
Demeko Code

Get rid of it. If a business draws in more revenue on booze vs food, why penalize them. Just stupid.

blainegarrett
blainegarrett

This why some places have a $1 pitcher of beer with a $15 plate of wings. 

Keith Morioka
Keith Morioka

Yes. It needs to go. Times have changed, and they really are no longer applicable...

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