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Sunday liquor sales might not help area stores

Landmark Liquors in Perham could open its doors on Sunday if a proposed bill is passed by the Minnesota House and Senate. Minnesota is one of 14 states that do not allow the sale of liquor on Sundays. Photo by Sam Benshoof

For some people, not being able to buy liquor on Sundays around Minnesota is just business as usual.

A new bill proposed in the state Legislature could change that.

Minnesota is one of 14 states that do not allow the sale of liquor on Sundays, but the bill, which was proposed a few months ago, would allow for liquor stores to be open on Sundays.

The bill is currently waiting in line to be heard by the Senate Finance Committee, and the House version of the bill is in the Commerce and Regulatory Reform Committee.

The bill passed its first committee vote 8-7 in March, marking the first time a Sunday-liquor bill has gotten this far in the Minnesota Legislature.

Kim Hoban, manager of Mills Liquors in New York Mills, said that she and other municipal liquor store managers are against the idea.

"I think it would end up costing us," she said. "You might pick up a little bit of business, but you have to pay people to be here."

Hoban also said that being open on Sunday might mean an increase in the store's insurance, which would only add to the cost.

"I think it'd probably end up hurting the bottom line," she added.

Randal Hendrickx, manager of Landmark Liquors in Perham, said he's also against the bill.

"Sales just wouldn't be worth the expenses that we'd have to go through to be open that day," he said. "It's really just spread sales out over three days instead of Friday and Saturday."

Hoban also brought up grocery stores, which would also be affected by Sunday liquor store sales.

"Sunday is their day to sell, and they do well," Hoban said. "If we start being open on Sunday, that will take away from them, and then they might want to carry a regular liquor license."