Surdyk's opens on Sunday, faces $3,500 in citations

Surdyks liquor
Surdyks, shown Wednesday, March 16, 2011 in Minneapolis.
AP Photo

Updated: 7:15 p.m. | Posted 1:20 p.m.

Surdyk's, the longtime liquor and cheese store in northeast Minneapolis opened for business on Sunday, despite the state's new Sunday liquor sales law not taking effect until July.

Owner Jim Surdyk said he decided to staff Sundays as soon as he saw the governor sign legislation into law.

"Well, the governor signed the bill, the legislature wanted to have us open," said Surdyk. "Why send more tax dollars to Wisconsin?"

Surdyk said he plans to continue opening on Sundays.

The city of Minneapolis reported late Sunday that it's in the process of issuing $3,500 in citations against Surdyk's. And in a statement said the city will pursue sanctions against the off-sale liquor license held by Surdyk's, based on "the owner's clear disregard of the law."

The statement went on to say the city has been in verbal contact with 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," the statement read.

The Minnesota Department of Public Safety Alcohol and Gambling Enforcement division conducts inspections and investigations to ensure compliance with state liquor laws and rules.

In a statement on Sunday afternoon, the department said no establishment is licensed to sell liquor on Sundays at this time.

"We received reports that Surdyk's Liquor in Minneapolis was open and selling liquor today in violation of the law. We will assist the City of Minneapolis with its investigation."

Until last week, Minnesota was one of just 12 states that still banned liquor stores from opening on Sundays while all of its neighbors legalized Sunday liquor sales.