Lakeville liquor stores to open Sundays

Events planned at Heritage location

After historic action by the Minnesota Legislature and Gov. Mark Dayton allowing Sunday liquor sales, Lakeville municipal liquor stores will be open seven days a week, beginning July 2.

“We are planning quite the kickoff,” said Brenda Visnovec, Lakeville liquor operations director. “When you think about it, in the history of alcohol sales, it’s like next to the repeal of prohibition. This is probably one of the biggest days in alcohol sales.”

In celebration of the change, which occurs during Pan-O-Prog, the city’s municipal liquor stores will feature some commemorative items for sale, including bottles of bourbon that say “I bought mine on Sunday July 2nd, 2017” with the city’s liquor logo etched in it.

Can koozies will be given away to the first 100 people who spend $50 or more at every liquor store location.

The Heritage location will also be the opening kickoff celebration site for the liquor store’s monthlong fundraiser for the Lakeville Fire Department, dubbed “Fire it up for Public Safety.”

“We are trying to raise money for some water rescue equipment,” Visnovec said. “So we’ll be asking for donations at the door at all our locations.”

Also at the Heritage location, a fire truck will be on site for children to tour, and the city will give away free hot dogs and root beer as well as brats soaked in Templeton Whiskey for adults.

Firefighters will also be on hand at the Heritage location to provide carryout for customers who donate to the equipment fund. They hope to raise over $10,000 for the water rescue equipment throughout the month.

“Other locations will have the can koozies and the specialty items, but only the Heritage location will have the fire department kickoff,” Visnovec said.

Minnesota is one of only about a dozen other states that banned Sunday liquor sales, although 3.2 beer has been available at convenience stores and various retailers, and wine could be purchased at a Minnesota farm winery.

“The spirits section of it kind of got pushed aside,” Visnovec said. “They really didn’t have any avenue to sell their products. So they were a big component in getting this pushed through in the state of Minnesota.”

She said the Distilled Spirits Council has been working to open Sunday liquor sales across the United States, and many people have advocated for the sales to increase convenience.

Visnovec said it has been proven in other states that opening Sundays will only increase sales by about 3 to 6 percent but add on about 10 percent costs in hours the stores are open.

“My job is to ensure that we remain in line as profitable as always,” Visnovec said. “If people don’t monitor it closely, it could end up creating losses.” She said she will monitor and make adjustments as possible.

Sunday hours will be 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. The city’s Heritage liquor store is located at 20164 Heritage Drive.

Liquor stores will not be open Easter Sunday and Christmas Day, if it falls on a Sunday.

“Some people aren’t pleased about Sunday sales, some people are ecstatic, but either way, it’s a marked day of history,” Visnovec said.