Skip to main content

Mpls. rejects deal with liquor store that jumped the gun on Sunday sales

A city council committee says an agreement worked out with Surdyk's Liquor last week is not a harsh enough punishment.

It's back to the drawing board as Minneapolis considers how to punish a liquor store that opened for business on a Sunday – a few months before that becomes legal.

A week after city staffers reached a settlement with Surdyk's Liquor, it was rejected Tuesday by a city council committee whose members want a stiffer penalty.

What happened

Minnesota's had a law prohibiting liquor stores from opening on Sunday as long as anyone can remember. Efforts to repeal it came up dry for years, until this spring.

As soon as Gov. Mark Dayton signed the new law getting rid of the Sunday sales ban, Jim Surdyk celebrated by opening his northeast Minneapolis liquor store on Sunday, March 12. One problem: the new law doesn't kick in until July 1, so it was still illegal for the store to be open.

City Hall was not happy with Surdyk's decision and initially said his punishment would be to have the store's liquor license suspended for 30 days – basically the month of July – plus a $2,000 fine. A plea bargain of sorts was reached last week, though, when city staff and Surdyk reached a deal that increased the fine to $6,000 but reduced the days the store must be closed to 10 – nine Sundays and one Saturday.

The deal's rejection

It was the city council's Community Development and Regulatory Services Committee that turned down the settlement Tuesday, giving staff members a month to come up with a new penalty.

The Star Tribune says there was not much discussion at the meeting. His lawyer told the committee that Surdyk "made a horrible decision" in the heat of the moment, the newspaper reports, while council member Lisa Goodman said she was troubled by Surdyk's refusal to close the store even after city and state officials asked him to do so on March 12.

Surdyk, whose grandfather opened the store in 1934, has his supporters. One Facebook message shared on the liquor store's page thanks the owner for standing up to "our oppressive government" that banned Sunday sales in the first place. Others say the city's punishment of Surdyk's is too harsh.

But public comments released by the city council show there's also plenty of anger at Surdyk for flaunting the law. One came from an employee who said she was quitting her job at Surdyk's over the owner's stunt. "I would never ever get used to working for someone who thinks they are above the law," Kari Johnson wrote, adding "What is next? What other laws or regulations might you consider beneath you?"

Next Up

Myth

New apartment proposal could spell the end for Myth Live

Myth Live in Maplewood has a spotty past with the surrounding community.

Hsa Law Yaw Say

Police trying to find woman, 18, who was shot at in St. Paul

Police are looking for help finding the woman.

image

Is an Amazon grocery store coming to Woodbury?

There's six rumored stores in the Twin Cities.

ambulance

Man sentenced to life in prison for 2021 murder of girlfriend

Lacy Jo Krube, 36, was found unresponsive at her St. Paul home, after she'd been beaten in Brooklyn Park.

Richfield High School

New threat prompts closure of Richfield secondary schools

The new threat comes after a shooting outside the Richfield High School football game Friday night.

Screen Shot 2022-09-25 at 6.09.38 PM

Parkland shooting survivor David Hogg to headline Duluth rally

The rally will take place at Leif Erikson Park on Oct. 1.

Screen Shot 2022-09-26 at 6.09.43 AM

Stella's Fish Cafe closes temporarily to investigate viral rodent video

The Uptown restaurant said it was closing temporarily so it could investigate the claims.

Governor Tim Walz

Walz, judge in dispute over Feeding Our Future case

A Ramsey County judge disputed Walz's claims that the Minnesota Department of Education was ordered by the court to resume payments to Feeding Our Future.

ambulance

2 dead, 1 with life-threatening injuries in Hwy. 7 crash

Both drivers were not wearing their seatbelt, according to the State Patrol.

Screen Shot 2022-09-25 at 11.50.33 AM

15-year-old Richfield football game shooting suspect arrested

A 16-year-old accused of instigating the altercation is also in custody.

Police tape

3 arrested after homicide, burglary in Inver Grove Heights

Charges of first-degree murder and first-degree burglary are pending.

Related

The Senate passed a Sunday liquor sales bill

This is the closest Minnesota has come to having Sunday liquor sales. But there's still work that needs to be done before it's official

Sunday liquor sales is officially a done deal 🍾

The first day the new law kicks in is July 2.

Gander Mountain is changing its name and keeping more MN stores open

The stores that emerge from bankruptcy will be known as Gander Outdoors.

Report: This is the last holiday season for the Minneapolis Macy's

Twin Cities Business reports Macy's has told Minneapolis it will close its Nicollet Mall store in 2017

Surdyk's strikes a deal with Minneapolis, will get to sell alcohol again sooner

Customers flooded into Surdyk's when it opened unexpectedly on Sunday, Mar. 12.

Mpls. panel rejects Trader Joe's rezoning request

The Minneapolis City Council Zoning and Planning committee unanimously voted against a rezoning request for a new Trader Joe's grocery and liquor store in the Lyn-Lake neighborhood, the Star Tribune reports. The proposal now goes to the full Minneapolis City Council. City development staff recommended the rezoning be approved, but Council Member Meg Tuthill, who represents the proposed south Minneapolis location, says she doesn't believe in rezoning for one business.