Updated 4:12 p.m. | Posted 2:37 p.m.
Minneapolis on Monday came down hard on longtime liquor store owner Jim Surdyk for opening on Sunday to get a jump on the new state law that allows Sunday sales.
Surdyk was slapped with a $2,000 fine and a 30-day license suspension for not waiting until the new state law takes effect to begin selling on Sundays.
The license suspension kicks in on July 2, the very day the new law takes hold, giving his competitors five Sundays to sell with Surdyk's on the sidelines.
"Well, the governor signed the bill. The Legislature wanted to have us open," Surdyk said on Sunday. "Why send more tax dollars to Wisconsin?"
Surdyk remained defiant Monday morning, saying doubters only wish they'd had the idea first and his competitors were caught flat footed.
"No, they're not excited about me right now. I beat 'em to the punch, and they didn't want to work on Sunday," he said.
His comments came before the notice of the penalty from Minneapolis. Surdyk wasn't available after the violation letter was released by the city.
Although Surdyk can still appeal the penalty, city officials warned him that any more Sunday sales will result in more penalties.
Surdyk's has until Friday to decide whether to accept the closure and fine, ask for clemency from a city council committee or fight the violation in a city administrative hearing.
Some in the liquor business had little sympathy for Surdyk's attempt to gain a competitive advantage.
"I remind people that we're not selling balloons, bubble gum and popcorn. We're selling a controlled substance," said Tony Chesak, executive director of the Minnesota Licensed Beverage Association, the trade group that represents much of the state's liquor industry.
"We're never asking for more regulation in our industry," he added, "but it's one of those things where we need to work within the confines of the current law."
Small, family owned liquor stores around Minnesota have been wary of the extra day of sales. They've said it could would make it tougher to compete with places like Target, that are already open, but just can't sell liquor.
Ted Farrell, whose family has owned Haskell's liquor stores since 1970 and has 12 metro locations, said he was still looking forward to having Sundays off until the new law goes into effect.
Of Surdyk's attempt to get a jump on the law and competitors, Farrell said: "You just look at somebody (who) wants to do something stupid. It's a free country."
• MPR asks: Did Surdyk's get a fair penalty?