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Eased liquor restrictions are on tap in Minneapolis

  • November 12, 2011 - 6:18 PM

This week, a proposal to ease Minneapolis liquor laws separating booze and churches is headed to the City Council.

Council Member Gary Schiff proposed allowing restaurants and microbreweries to locate near churches. Schiff says the current restrictions on restaurants have led to many vacant storefronts.

A key committee approved the measure last week, after advocates on both sides of the issue spoke their piece.

The microbrewery provision garnered the most debate, because it would pave the way for a new taproom across the street from Saints Cyril and Methodius Slovak Catholic Church in northeast Minneapolis.

"The people today, they don't respect the church," said opponent Joe Kronek, 91.

Schiff said too much attention was being paid to one particular business proposal.

"This is actually about policy citywide and the effect that it has on our business climate when we start mixing religion with licensing rules," he said.

The council is scheduled to vote on the measure Friday.

ERIC ROPER

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