Mounds View allows for extended liquor store hours

Mounds View residents will soon be able to purchase liquor until 10 p.m. on weeknights and on Sundays.

Liquor stores in Mounds View will soon be able to keep their doors open until 10 p.m. on weeknights, as well as limited hours on Sundays. (Sun Focus photo by Sarah Burghardt)
Liquor stores in Mounds View will soon be able to keep their doors open until 10 p.m. on weeknights, as well as limited hours on Sundays. (Sun Focus photo by Sarah Burghardt)

The Mounds View City Council approved an extension to liquor store operating hours at the April 24 meeting. The amendment will allow Mounds View liquor stores the flexibility to stay open later on weekdays, as well as on Sundays. The provision regarding weekday liquor sales will go into effect on June 5; Sunday liquor sales will go into effect July 2 around the state.

These changes will align the city with Minnesota state statute. Previously, all liquor stores in Mounds View could operate until 8 p.m. on weeknights. The 8 p.m. liquor store closing time began as a Ramsey County provision which was changed many years back. Saint Paul passed a similar amendment in October to align with its neighboring municipalities.

This change does not require the city’s liquor stores to stay open during all allowed hours of operation. Mounds View’s liquor stores, Vino and Stogies, Merwin Liquors and ABC Liquor, will have the choice to extend their hours under their discretion, although, staying open would allow for a competitive advantage.

Merwin Liquors owners Stuart Tapper and Thomas Cohen said they are in favor of extending Monday through Thursday hours and have been fighting for Sunday hours for years.

“I think this will be good for us and our customers,” Tapper said. “We’ll also be adding more staff as a result of this, so we’re creating more jobs, more opportunity.”
They also agreed that the amendment would be beneficial to the city.

“It creates a problem when opportunity goes somewhere else. I think what Mounds View is doing is good for Mounds View. Anytime someone from Mounds View is buying something at 9 o’clock at a store across city lines, that’s a loss in tax revenue,” Cohen said.

All neighboring cities surrounding Mounds View allow for weeknight sales until 10 p.m. When hours are limited, residents can venture to Blaine, New Brighton, Shoreview, Spring Lake Park or Lexington to purchase liquor past 8 p.m. The same issue has arose in regard to Sunday liquor sales. With many Minnesota cities residing near a state border, Minnesota has been losing liquor tax revenue to neighboring states for years.

Within city limits, legal hours for liquor stores to operate Monday through Thursday will be 8 a.m. to 10 p.m.; legal Sunday hours will be 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Contact Sarah Burghardt at [email protected]