Mixed reviews after two years of Sunday liquor sales in Minnesota

It's been two years since Minnesota law made Sunday alcohol sales legal for the first time since Prohibition.

Posted: Jul 1, 2019 6:48 PM
Updated: Jul 1, 2019 8:37 PM

KIMT NEWS 3 – Monday marked two years since a law went into effect in Minnesota, allowing Sunday liquor sales in the state.

Two years ago, Apollo Liquor store was packed with people buying alcohol on a Sunday.

“It’s the first time in Minnesota history so I thought I'd make that history,” one customer said.

KIMT News 3 spoke with Apollo Liquor Assistant Manager Terry Sibley on that first day of Sunday sales.

“It's going to make my bosses happy that the store is selling and money's coming in,” Sibley said, “But I don't think it's going to cover the overhead we're going to have.”

Two years later, he’s not pleased about the extra day of work.

“The first couple weeks it was you know, ‘It's the first time I've ever been to a liquor store on a Sunday, I'm real excited about it,’” Sibley said. “Now, I have customers come in and actually apologize that I have to be here on a Sunday.”

Apollo Liquor Store Manager Robert Riggs tells KIMT the big reason for the change in the first place is that the legislature was concerned Minnesota was losing tax revenue to neighboring states.

“And it's found out that it hasn't made that much difference,” Riggs said.

He said Sunday sales end up taking away from Saturday and Monday.

As time continues on, all they can do is continue moving forward.

“I would prefer that it would go back but it never will,” Riggs said. “It's kinda like, you can't put that cat back in the bag.”

July 1 also marks the first day of the Tobacco 21 ordinance in Olmsted County, the rule that says you have to be at least 21 years old to buy tobacco products.

Employees at Apollo Liquor tell KIMT it’s easier on them since they only have to check for one age now.

“Kids could come in that were 18 and 19 and 20 and buy tobacco products,” Riggs said. “We have to check their IDs and make sure they fall into the right dates, and same thing with young people buying alcohol. Now it's all the same date which makes it easier.”

Earlier this year, Austin and Albert Lea also adopted Tobacco 21 legislation.

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