Minneapolis voters have overwhelmingly approved a measure that removes strict food-alcohol sales ratios for neighborhood restaurants.
Ballot question No. 2 affects about 70 restaurants in neighborhoods around the city, which had operated under strict sales-ratio rules: At least 70 percent of sales from food and no more than 30 percent from alcohol. Their licenses also prohibited them from serving alcohol to customers who hadn't already ordered a meal.
Tuesday's vote repeals those rules, which restaurant owners said were increasingly hard to follow because of the popularity of wine and pricey craft beer.
"I think it's great the people understood we weren't trying to unleash all regulations," said Molly Broder, who owns Broders' Pasta Bar, Cucina Italiana and Terzo Vino Bar. "We will be regulated even without ratios, and we're so grateful that the voters realize that."
Neighborhood restaurants can still only sell beer and wine.
Meanwhile, voters also approved a ballot question that increases filing fees for candidates running for city offices.
Starting with the 2017 city election, the current fee of $20 will rise to $500 for mayoral candidates, $250 for council, and $100 for the Board of Estimate and Taxation and the Park and Recreation Board.
Candidates can avoid the fee by gathering signatures — either 500 or a number equal to 5 percent of the total votes cast in the previous election for the office.
The fee has been the same since 1967, but talk of raising it began after last year's 35-candidate mayoral race.
Supporters said the low cost led to crowded fields that made elections confusing for voters and expensive for the city. Opponents worried that higher fees could keep some people from running for office.