A much anticipated and welcomed change recently took place affecting Minneapolis bars and restaurants in commercial areas. Since 1983, restaurants in commercial areas outside of downtown Minneapolis were required to follow a city ordinance that required the restaurants to maintain a 60-40 food-to-alcohol ratio. On Friday, September 19, 2014, the Minneapolis City Council unanimously eliminated this prohibitive restriction in a 12-0 vote.
The “60-40 rule” was initiated as a way to deter alcohol-related problems in restaurants located in commercial areas outside of downtown Minneapolis. The Minnesota alcohol law required a Minneapolis restaurant to make at least 60 percent of its revenue from food and no more than 40 percent of its revenue from alcohol sales. The rule has since become outdated and unduly burdensome for many Minneapolis restaurants located in commercial areas outside of downtown, putting them at an unfair competitive advantage with those restaurants located downtown. Additionally, the higher price and popularity of craft beers and specialty cocktails has made it increasingly difficult for restaurant owners to meet the ratios required under the old rule.
With the elimination of the 60-40 rule, restaurants located in commercial corridors outside of downtown Minneapolis no longer have the burden of proving a 60-40 ratio of food-to-alcohol sales. The elimination is a relief to many restaurant owners. The change, however, does not affect neighborhood residential restaurants that are required to abide by the 70-30 food-to-alcohol ratio. Unlike the 60-40 rule, the 70-30 rule is located in the city charter and may only be amended by the Minneapolis voters. As such, the issue of amending the 70-30 rule will be on the ballot for the upcoming November elections.
For advice on rules and regulations affecting bars, restaurants, taprooms, distilleries, and related business start-ups, contact one of the Minnesota alcohol business attorneys of Trepanier MacGillis Battina P.A.
About the Author:
Minnesota alcohol industry attorney Bryan R. Battina advises clients on business start-ups, particularly the rules and regulations affecting brewery and distillery start-ups, bars, and restaurants. Bryan may be reached at 612.455.0505 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Trepanier MacGillis Battina P.A. is a Minnesota business law firm located in Minneapolis, Minnesota.