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Minneapolis votes to overturn 19th Century booze law

It'll make it significantly easier to have a cocktail with your dinner.

On election night, Republicans won some, Democrats won some – and so did Minneapolis restaurateurs.

That's because the so-called "1 Minneapolis" – which would ease restrictions on booze sales – is projected to win by a wide margin, according to election results from the Minnesota Secretary of State's website. 

The law in question, known as the "7-acre rule," restricts hard alcohol sales to restaurants that are within "7 contiguous commercial acres."

Which is to say, it's currently illegal for eateries outside of big commercial zones (like downtown Minneapolis) to sell cocktails, unless they're willing to lobby the state and pay tens of thousands of dollars in fees to get an exemption. 

Opponents of the 7-acre rule – namely a movement calling itself "YES ON 1 MPLS," made up of local restaurant owners – said this was unfair to smaller businesses looking to cash in on hard alcohol sales. 

Though there was little opposition to the ballot initiative, it faced one key hurdle: it required a 55 percent "yes" vote to pass.

With current projections indicating approval at over 72 percent, consider that hurdle overcome.

And expect change to happen quickly: the new law (or lack of the old law) will go into effect on Dec. 7, allowing all Minneapolis restaurants to pursue licenses to sell cocktails in just a little over a month. 

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