Sensing the reluctance of Minnetonka leaders to permit another liquor store in their city, Target Co. officials asked the City Council to delay its vote Monday on a liquor license for the retailer.
They did it in the hope that Target could explore purchasing a local liquor store to address concerns that the city has enough of them.
"This area and Minnetonka are adequately served," Council Member Brad Wiersum said. "We have a sufficient number of liquor stores."
Target's plan for a 2,800-square-foot liquor store at its Hwy. 7 SuperTarget would have been its eighth in Minnesota, among its 75 statewide stores.
Minnetonka denied Target an off-sale liquor license in 2015, the first time the retailer's plans to add a liquor store had been rejected in Minnesota. The city also had denied Total Wine's request for a license.
But in a new request that city leaders approved earlier this month, Total Wine is buying and closing two local liquor stores — Big Top Liquors and U.S. Liquor & Wine — and opening a new store in a former Golfsmith shop.
Minnetonka city leaders have been reluctant to add liquor stores beyond the 11 stand-alone stores it has now. That number will drop to 10 with the replacement of the two stores with Total Wine.
Wiersum noted Monday, however, that the total square footage of liquor stores in Minnetonka will rise, adding that he would "rather see how that goes" before approving Target's request.
Council Member Patty Acomb added that a community survey showed a majority of residents think the city has enough liquor stores. One parent also spoke Monday against Target's proposal, concerned about a liquor store near Minnetonka High School.
Target officials, seeing that they didn't have enough votes to pass the plan, asked the City Council to table the vote indefinitely so the company could possibly discuss doing "what Total Wine did" to address city concerns.
Target sells liquor at nearly 1,400 of 1,850 stores in 38 states. Target also has a Minnetonka store near Ridgedale Center.