Why Paisley Park should be allowed to serve alcohol

Super Bowl week could bring a more intoxicated vibe to Chanhassen. But is it a good idea?
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In the semi-recent past, Prince hosted frequent late-night parties at his Chanhassen estate – with a few non-negotiable rules: no cellphones, no meat, and no alcohol. 

Since his death, Paisley Park has evolved into a museum devoted to the Purple One. For the week leading up to Super Bowl LII in Minneapolis, it has requested a special permit for the city government to allow booze service. According to FOX 9, Paisley wants to host cocktail parties for 500 to 1,000 guests. The Chanhassen City Council plans to make a decision by Dec. 11.

Here's why that decision should allow Paisley Park to bend Prince's rules. 

First, what exactly are people fighting about?

Prince was a complicated guy. He evolved over his life – personally and artistically – so you can take your pick to find an era that aligns with your personal beliefs.

His death was linked to a secret drug habit that to some felt like a direct conflict with his straight-edge rules for guests. But he also was PRINCE. A legend. A talent. A one-of-a-kind being. Although he once sang "There aren't any rules in Paisley Park," his rules for visitors upped the uniqueness of entering his home. He made us puppets on his strings in an era when very little is remotely shocking. 

So on the one hand, the purple-clad devouts rightly argue that allowing drinking at Paisley goes against the master's recent wishes while he was alive. 

The other side says the departed pop star's home has felt noticeably different in myriad ways since it became a museum, and there used to be parties with alcohol. So what's the big deal if one more thing is changed now?

Serving alcohol at Paisley Park is good for business, and it's definitely a business

In 2017, is the Chanhassen complex merely a sacred resting place for Prince or a destination for Prince fans and tourists? Arguably you wouldn't have tour guides and pay an admission fee if it were just the former. You can even buy a Paisley Park USB drive if you want.

The Graceland vibe makes certain aspects of Paisley feel much more business-like than it was during his life, but that's how the purple magic can stay afloat. Prince had no will, and therefore nothing set aside to operate a museum dedicated to him. 

If having access to the building itself for the long-term is the most important thing for fans, the place has to be financially successful. Paisley can contribute to a sustainable future by serving (and charging a lot for) alcohol during Super Bowl week. But the cell phone ban is cool. Keep the mystique, especially if people are drinking.

But should you drink at Paisley Park?

That depends on you. Some Paisley Park partiers from the past few years didn't let Prince's rules stop them from getting visibly lit, so they're not going to be mad about leaving the flask at home.

Based upon several extremely sober nights I spent at Paisley Park, the electricity in the building varied. Sometimes you'd get a priceless performance featuring the Purple One's signature stage presence – which is a potent drug in itself. 

Other nights it'd be Finding Nemo projected on a wall and some deep NPG cuts blaring through the sound system. Not bad, but transplant that scenario into your favorite bar and it'd add a layer.

The easiest solution for purists? Don't get too hung up on the rules. Be you. No matter what Chanhassen decides, your conscience still might not let you imbibe. Prince's ashes are located on the premises, after all. Pretty hard to dispute that while walking past the Paisley Park-shaped urn holding a glass of wine – even if it's purple.

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