Edina Leaders Re-Examine Liquor Laws Again

Updated: 12/01/2012 1:31 PM KSTP.com By: Joy Lim Nakrin

Edina City Council members are re-thinking the city's liquor law.

Edina's city code dictates a 60/40 food-liquor ratio. In other words, it limits profits from liquor to 40%. The law has been in place since 1999, but now businesses claim it is limiting revenues.

The issue became particularly poignant for Cocina Del Barrio, a popular restaurant at 50th and France. The business was fined for violating the ordinance after an accounted reviewed statements. General Manager Tyler Lineburg was surprised to learn of the violation and explained, "It's difficult to turn a profit in the restaurant business, I'm sure anyone knows that. But any obstacles create a difficulty."

Other restaurantiers are also chiming in. Ruth Johnston, owner of Beaujo's Bistro at 50th and France said of the restrictions, "it would certainly give us more flexibility if we didn't have to abide by a 60/40." She went on to add, "if we have more flexibility with what we can offer customers I think that will be better all around."

Edina City Council members are debating a change. But many are concerned that relaxing the law will compromise the town's character. Mayor Jim Hovland told 5EYEWITNESS News "Whether it's the food-alcohol ratio or whether its the type of buildings that get built here, you want to make sure you don't do something that disturbs the charm and character of a place."

Last May, the City Council voted to allow discounted drinks during happy hour after business owners expressed concerns over lost profits. Mayor Hovland says the ratio rule is being reevaluated as well.