Score one for the Minnesota Licensed Beverage Association. Instead of Total Wine superstore opening of Dec. 5 in Bloomington, it will now be delayed until at least April.
After the MLBA brought a stack of Total Wine-related court cases to the Bloomington City Council, the council has decided to delay voting on approval of Total Wine's liquor license while its attorney Sandra Johnson evaluates them.
That's quite a lengthy delay for a store that already has its neon signage lighted and a nearly completed interior. Still, no alcoholic beverages can be delivered to the site until the license is approved.
The long delay will give Total Wine's attorneys time to gather evidence and mount a rebuttal, said Johnson.
A second location in Roseville is under construction in the former J.C. Penney home store, but the build-out isn't expected to be completed until spring. "It typically takes four to six months to construct, fixture and open a store," said Total Wine spokesman Ed Cooper. The Roseville city council approved TW's liquor license earlier this month.
Total Wine sees the delay in Bloomington as an attempt by competitors to slow it down, said Ed Cooper, vice president of public affairs and community relations for Maryland-based Total Wine. “They hate our low prices and fanatic adherence to providing incredible service to our customers,” he said.
Total Wine has 100 stores in 14 states but this is the company's first foray into the Upper Midwest.