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A Change to City Charter Could Make it Easier to Drink in the Neighborhood

Election Day decisions include the chance to strike down the “seven acre rule.”

Three brightly colored cocktails in a highball, lowball, and tulip shaped glasses on the wood bar inside Centro. The background shows a bright pink and red cross stitched styled mural.
More drinks could be served in Minneapolis neighborhoods
Kevin Kramer/Eater Twin Cities

As Minneapolis residents head to the voting booth on November 6th (or fill out absentee an absentee ballot which you can now do, no reason necessary!), voters will notice a food and beverage industry matter occupying city ballot question 1: the motion to eliminate a regulation that requires restaurants outside of a seven acre area surrounding downtown to acquire an exception from the City Charter in order to serve cocktails.

Right now, restaurants outside of this zone are only allowed to serve beer and wine unless they get the exception, which can cost anywhere from $10,000 - $20,000 and take up to 18 months to complete according to Yes On 1 MPLS, a website that supports the initiative.

If passed, the seven acre rule will be removed and businesses outside of the zone will be free to serve liquor and cocktails if they like, sans exception. A variety of organizations, from the city’s Charter Commission and the Minneapolis Business Licensing Division to locally-owned restaurants currently support the measure.