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End Minneapolis Prohibition NOW

Last week I wrote about what Milwaukee’s wine scene has that the Twin Cities do not. As I mentioned in that article, I was thinking about the totally outdated Minneapolis law that requires an insane percentage of an on-premise (restaurant) wine and beer license holders gross receipts be food over wine and beer. Lo and behold, ten minutes after typing that post I was having a drink with Charlie Broder at Terzo and right on the wall was a petition on the same subject, led by his mother Molly Broder and Steven Brown of Tilia.

One week later, the momentum has built. A Facebook page devoted to the topic has been created. People are talking about the issue. It’s wonderful.

HOWEVER, BECAUSE THIS IS PART OF THE CITY CHARTER WE NEED MONUMENTAL SUPPORT.

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So if you agree the following scenarios are insane, join me in supporting the End Minneapolis Prohibition movement.

  • Scenario One: I want to drink a good glass of wine and restaurants want to sell me a good glass of wine. I have no problem going out and spending upwards of $20 on a great glass of wine (as long as it’s served at the right temperature and in the right stemware!), and I like to have a small bite with it. I’m watching what I eat, so I don’t want to order the $40 bone in rib eye every time. Maybe an $8 plate of cheese will be just the ticket. Guess what — my $20 glass of Chateauneuf du Pape paired with an $8 cheese plate puts that restaurant out of compliance. Even an $8 glass puts them out of compliance. According to the city of Minneapolis, how should the restaurant handle this situation? They should sell me a shitty $2.50 glass of wine with my little cheese plate.
  • Scenario Two: I’ve had dinner at home but we feel like going out and having a quick glass somewhere amongst other people. I don’t want to spend a lot of money (and I’m full from dinner) so I go to a South Minneapolis wine bar and just order a quick glass. Guess what — my lack of ordering food puts that restaurant out of compliance. According to the city of Minneapolis, how should the restaurant handle this situation? They shouldn’t allow me to order just a glass of wine. I must order food to go with it, even though I’m not hungry.
  • Scenario Three (you’ll love this one): A restaurant wants to get ambitious with their wine list. After years of not paying attention to it, they decide to invest in more inventory, staff education, better stemware, and even a wine preservation system. They succeed in their plan, bringing in happy wine drinkers in droves that pay far more in sales taxes as a result of the average bottle sale price going from $25 to $50. They become a destination wine bar and their reputation grows exponentially. Guess what — because they didn’t double the cost of their food they are now out of compliance. According to the city of Minneapolis, how should the restaurant handle this situation? They should go back to what they did before, selling cheaper wine and generating less tax revenue because that’s what the law states they should do.

So what should you do? Download and print the petition form, encourage your neighbors and friends and family to sign it, then bring it to one of these participating restaurants:

5-8 Club
Al Vento
Anchor Fish & Chips
Barbette
Birchwood Cafe
Blackbird
Blue Door Pub
Broders’ Cucina Italiana
Broders’ Pasta Bar
Bryant Lake Bowl
Buster’s on 28th
Cafe Ena
Citizen Cafe
Cocina Latina
The Corner Table
Cupcake
Dogwood Coffee
Fat Lorenzos
George & the Dragon
Gigi’s
Grand Cafe
Harriet Brasserie
Hazel’s NE
Hot Plate
Kings Wine Bar
Matt’s Bar
Obento-Ya
Parkway Pizza
Pat’s Tap
Piccolo
Pizza Luce
Pizzeria Lola
Rancon 38
Red Stag
Riverview Cafe
Sun Street Breads
Terzo Vino Bar
The Kenwood
The Lynn
Tilia
Tooties on Lowry
Turtle Bread Company
Victor’s 1959 Cafe
Victory-44
Wise Acre

Better yet, visit one of these great restaurants, order and glass of wine, and tell them you want to give your support. All of them have a copy of the petition available for you to sign.

This is important to the cultural future of the Twin Cities wine scene. Support the End Minneapolis Prohibition NOW movement … now!

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