‘Sunday Liquor’ era arrives in Minnesota

Iron Range DFL

Too late to save this one. This former liquor store turned DFL HQ from 2014 is a tattoo parlor now. The liquor sign remains in place, however.

This weekend marks the opening of a new era in Minnesota drinking. Oh, I suppose the drinking remains the same. I should say that Minnesota now enters a new more spontaneous age in “planning to drink.”

Starting July 2, liquor stores across the state, including some here in Northern Minnesota, will open for business on Sunday. This ends a watered-down version of Prohibition that existed before Prohibition.

So called “blue laws” emerged from the more religious, more temperate political climate that dominated Minnesota statehood and its first 100 years. It’s no coincidence that the 1919 Volstead Act, the bill that authorized the “noble failure” of Prohibition, was named for a Minnesota congressman. But the culture changed. The Scandinavians and Yankees who dominated Minnesota politics of 130 years ago would surely be rolling in their graves … that is, if dancing were allowed.

Really, the impact will be relatively small. People who own liquor stores in Minnesota or in one of the Wisconsin border towns have the most to think about. Everyone else? Let’s just say, behaviors are unlikely to change much.

Not all communities in our area opted to allow Sunday liquor sales. For instance, the Ely City Council recently opted against allowing Sunday liquor sales. However, St. Louis County approved Sunday liquor sales for its vast rural areas, and most Range towns quickly adopted Sunday sales.

Further, not all liquor stores choose to open on SundaySeveral small Range liquor stores said they would stay closed due to staffing concerns. Nevertheless, larger stores are planning to be open, which may force the hands of the smaller ones.

You can buy liquor on a Sunday. In the end, Minnesotans simply have one less thing to complain about. Or one more. You decide.


  1. David Gray says

    Just another chance to make sure the working class have no days that they can have off.

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