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Goodbye 7-Acre Rule, Hello Neighborhood Cocktails

Minneapolis voters opened the door for more bars

A table next to the wall to ceiling glass windows at the front of Martina is bathed in sunshine. The table is set for service and at the center is a clay vessel holding a cocktail topped with foam and a bright red yellow flower blossom.
Martina will no longer be the lone spot for a mixed drink in Linden Hills
Kevin Kramer/Eater Twin Cities

Yesterday Minneapolis voters got rid of an old restriction that kept most restaurants outside of a seven-acre commercial zone from serving alcohol, the Star Tribune reported.

Ballot question 1, as Eater previously reported, asked voters whether or not the 7-acre restriction should effectively be lifted by removing the state’s power to hand out liquor licenses and giving it instead to Minneapolis’ City Hall.

While any restaurant could apply for an exception to the rule before, the process was so lengthy and costly that it was effectively prohibitive to small neighborhood spots. Council Member Linea Palmisano told the Strib that the outcome “eliminates an unnecessary long step” and that it “is something to try to help” local businesses.

The decision is the latest in a string of increasingly lax alcohol laws, starting with the “Surly bill” in 2011 through the Legislature’s 2017 decision to allow the sale of alcohol on Sundays.

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