Customers will be able to buy booze at Surdyk’s Liquor and Cheese Shop in July, after all. But not on Sundays in July, and not in August, either.
The city of Minneapolis said Tuesday that it has reached a tentative agreement with Surdyk’s in a dispute that started when owner Jim Surdyk opened for business on March 12 — a Sunday. Although lawmakers this year repealed the state’s decades-old ban on Sunday liquor sales, that repeal doesn’t go into effect until Sunday, July 2.
City officials weren’t happy with Surdyk’s approach. Grant Wilson, Minneapolis’ manager of licensing and consumer services, twice asked Surdyk to lock up the store that day. The next day, the city announced that it would suspend the store’s liquor license for 30 days in July and levy a fine of $2,000.
The settlement, though, would impose a 10-day suspension to take place on the first nine Sundays starting July 2, plus a one-day suspension on a Saturday of the store’s choosing. It would impose a $6,000 fine.
“These changes were made following discussions in which Jim Surdyk expressed contrition and took full responsibility for the violations,” city spokesman Casper Hill said in an e-mail. “They were also made based on a desire to minimize the potential impact on store employees.”
The proposed settlement is tentatively scheduled to be considered by the Community Development and Regulatory Services committee on April 18. Any settlement must be approved by the City Council, Hill said.
Jim Surdyk did not immediately return phone messages left for him at the store.
He was in high spirits on March 12 when he decided to open the store’s doors from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.
“We just decided to open up,” he said then. “We’re here, we’re busy, it’s great. People are happy to be here.
“The governor signed the bill, everyone wants the bill, they voted for it, why not be in business?”
Surdyk’s on East Hennepin Avenue has been a family-run institution in northeast Minneapolis for 83 years. It was founded in 1934 by Jim Surdyk’s grandfather, Polish immigrant Joseph Surdyk. The business has evolved from a discount liquor store in the 1970s to a gourmet shop with fine wine and cheese.