Ready-to-open wine supercenter hits last minute snag

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The shelves are stocked, the signs are lit up and almost everything is in order for big-box wine retailer Total Wine & More to open its doors in Bloomington, except for one key order of business: obtaining a liquor license.

KSTP reports the opening of the national chain's first location in Minnesota could be delayed to as late as April after the City Council's vote to approve a liquor license was pushed back a second time.

Before a license can be granted, Bloomington City Attorney Sandra Johnson is reviewing a stack of lawsuits involving Total Wine filed in other states.

The Minnesota Licensed Beverage Association sent the court documents to Johnson in the interest of "a full and fair hearing with all the facts" before the City Council, the Star Tribune reported.

Johnson told the newspaper that many of the suits involve the retailer suing a competitor or attacking state laws that it believes are too protective, according to the report.

A Total Wine spokesperson said the delay is an attempt by competitors to slow the retailer down because of its discount prices, the Star Tribune reported.

The Business Journal says the wine supercenters, which typically fill 20,000 to 30,000-square-foot spaces, will be the biggest competition ever for Minnesota liquor stores.

The Maryland-based company expects to open several locations in the Twin Cities. Plans for a Roseville store are already underway.

The Star Tribune said all local liquor licenses must be approved by the state.

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