Minnesotans get ready for Sunday alcohol sales

A law prohibiting Sunday alcohol sales, which has been in effect since Minnesota first became a state almost 160 years ago, is officially off the books.

July 2 will mark the first day Minnesotans can legally purchase alcohol on Sundays. With the change coming on the Fourth of July weekend, some are viewing Sunday as a reason to celebrate all its own.

“It was strange, because I grew up in Iowa, and it was never a thing you even thought of,” said Cody Beisker, who recently moved to Minnesota. “You could always get it from a liquor store or gas station.”

Those from Iowa or Wisconsin don’t think twice about picking up a pack on a Sunday, but across state lines Minnesotans are used to Sundays being dry, and Apple Village Liquor manager Sandi Blackburn is no stranger to hearing complaints.

With the new state law going into effect, however, those complaints will dry up.

“Now you can get it tomorrow, yeah, for first time in 159 years,” Blackburn told a customer. “It’s kind of an eventful day.

Stores including Apple Village Liquor in La Crescent will have the freedom to open their doors on Sunday for the first time.

“It’ll be strange it’s open,” Blackburn said.

She is preparing for the occasion by “making sure everything is stocked and everything’s cold, so when people come in it’s all ready for them.”

Blackburn is not sure yet how Sunday sales will affect business, but she imagines the first Sunday will be a busy one.

“Just the simple fact that people will want to come in and say they got to buy liquor for the first time in a long time,” she said.

Others, including Beisker, are happy for the added convenience.

“It’ll be very nice,” he said. “You don’t have to pre-plan.”

Blackburn said she imagines being open Sundays in the summer and football Sundays in the fall will be beneficial for sales.

It will take a while, however, to see if putting the extra cost into being open on Sundays will be worth it in the long run.

State law in Minnesota allows liquor stores to be open any time between the hours of 11 a.m. and 6 p.m. Sundays.