Surdyk's opens Sunday sales 4 months early despite warnings from state

Surdyk's liquor store in Northeast Minneapolis opened Sunday, four months before a new Sunday liquor sales law goes into effect.

“The governor signed the bill, so as far as I’m concerned, it’s good to go,” said owner Jim Surdyk.

Surdyk's sent out an email blast and posted on social media Sunday morning, surprising customers who thought they would have to wait until July 2 to purchase alcohol on a Sunday in Minnesota.

“I missed the fall of the Berlin Wall, so I figured I would capture at least one major outbreak of freedom in my lifetime,” said Mitch Berg, who made the trip from St. Paul just to say he was one of the first Minnesotans to buy alcohol on a Sunday.

The Sunday liquor sales bill passed the Minnesota House and Senate this session, with Governor Mark Dayton signing the bill on March 7.

According to city officials, Surdyk’s was issued $3,500 in citations. The city says it will also pursue sanctions against Surdyk’s liquor license.

"The City has been in verbal contact with owner Jim Surdyk. He was advised, both by phone and again in person, that allowing his store to be open for liquor sales on Sunday was in violation of the law," a statement from the city said. "The new Sunday liquor sales law does not go into effect until July 1, 2017. As a result of this violation, the City is in the process of issuing $3,500 in citations against Surdyk’s. The City will also pursue sanctions against the off-sale liquor license held by Surdyk's based on the owner's clear disregard of the law."

The Minnesota Department of Public Safety said it will be assisting the city of Minneapolis in its investigation into the store.

Tony Chesack, Executive Director of the Minnesota Licensed Beverage Association, said there’s nothing “unclear” about the law and many in the industry are disappointed in the move.

“MLBA does not support people openly breaking the law,” said Chesack. “We’re all watching to see what the state and the city of Minneapolis does.”