Some local bars are preparing to keep the Super Bowl party going through the night when football fans descend on the Twin Cities in February.
St. Paul leaders voted last week to allow bars to sell alcohol until 4 a.m., beyond the usual 2 a.m. closing time, if they get a permit. Minneapolis and Bloomington passed similar measures this fall.
The special permits are possible because of a change in state law approved by the Legislature this year that extends the state’s allowed liquor sales hours during the Super Bowl weekend — from Feb. 2 to 5.
About 16 businesses have already signed up in Bloomington, said Doug Junker, the city’s license examiner and deputy city clerk. Most are in or near the Mall of America.
“We’ll see what this brings, being that we have so many hotels here,” he said. “Everybody’s going downtown [in Minneapolis], but they’re coming home here.”
About 15 St. Paul businesses expressed interest when the city queried them earlier this year, said Robert Humphrey, public information officer with the city’s Department of Safety and Inspections. That’s out of about 225 businesses that would be eligible.
So far only one has asked for an application: Kelly’s Depot Bar in Lowertown.
“It’s just an extra little boost and business for a couple of days,” said Patty Kelly, a manager at Kelly’s.
In Minneapolis, six businesses have applied for the special licenses. Two are nightclubs: Monarch Minneapolis and Privé. The others are Maxwell’s American Pub, Last Call Bar & Grill, Randle’s Restaurant and Bar and Hop21.
Maxwell’s general manager, Mike “Rosie” Rosenstiel, said they only plan on staying open that late if someone rents out the bar for a private event.
Smaller parties like that are still being planned. “We should know … once the local teams are decided, whether it’s the Vikings or somebody else,” Rosenstiel said.
It isn’t the first time in recent years bars have remained open later. About 30 Minneapolis businesses extended their hours during the All-Star Game in 2014. State law also allowed for later hours during the Republican National Convention (RNC) in 2008.
“We didn’t get a ton of them for RNC,” Junker said. “But the RNC and the Super Bowl are different animals.”