Minnesota’s Bornholmer Strasse

In East Germany in 1991, all it took was one border guard commander to jump the queue and completely short-circuit his communist leaders’ plans to keep communism alive.

Just one cop, opening one gate, and half a century of oppression deflated like a Vikings winning streak.

In Minnesota, we’re not nearly that dramatic.

Jim Surdyk, owner of Surdyk’s Liquor in Minneapolis, decided to open yesterday – four months before Minnesota’s Blue Laws are formally repealed.


The city of Minneapolis will do its darnedest to show them who’s boss, of course.

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24 thoughts on “Minnesota’s Bornholmer Strasse

  1. Since Surdyk was one of the biggest opponents of Sunday sales, I was surprised that he was the first (and probably only) store to open, especially before the law takes effect. I agree with the observations of the hosts on the other station earlier this morning in that this was a publicity stunt by Surdyk. If no one showed up, he could say, “See?! I told you that Sunday sales was a bad idea”!

    That said, screw those left wing Stasi agents from the Proletariat of Minneapolis.

    I did get a chuckle out of Surdyk’s tongue in cheek quote; “This is the best Sunday that we’ve ever had.”

  2. There is now, officially, no legitimate reason to visit Wisconsin on a Sunday.

  3. “About 1 p.m. [city licensing inspector Grant] Wilson showed up at Surdyk’s, where the parking lot was full of cars, and advised Surdyk to ‘lock the doors.’ If he did not comply with the advice, Wilson ‘was going to write me up,’ according to Surdyk.”

    Grant Wilson is the same guy who tried to shut down Golden Leaf a couple of years ago because they had the temerity to let people to smoke cigars. (In a cigar shop.) There’s probably still news footage out there of him sputtering about how outraged he was that people thought they could just consume a legal product in a legal business without his express permission. His other high-profile pastime appears to be trying to cajole dancers into giving him “favors” to trip up licensed adult businesses. Waste of public resources.

  4. MBerg made a nice splash on the local news last evening as he was interviewed and made his “Berlin Wall” reference.

  5. I checked the hours for Wilson’s office (http://www.ci.minneapolis.mn.us/licensing/alcohol/index.htm), and it doesn’t appear the office is open on the weekends. So, were the taxpayers paying for the licensing manager to show up at Suvdyk’s, or was he there on his own time?

    I agree with the sentiment that Survdyk’s engaged in a publicity stunt, but isn’t Wilson guilty of the same?

    By the way, I’m amused by all the lefties who suddenly spout upon the rule of law in a case like this, but who’d likely be the first ones to challenge and break what they perceive to be an “unjust” law (gay marriage, abortion restrictions, etc.)

    I remember when I moved to Iowa from Minnesota and being pleasantly surprised to find that not only could I purchase liquor on Sunday, but in the grocery store no less.

  6. In Minneapolis if you’re an illegal alien, the cops will leave you alone. You probably can vote without much of a hassle and if Gov. Dayton has his way, you can get an official driver’s license that enables you to fly commercial. But if you’re a business owner and you jump the gun on Sunday sales, get ready for the full force of law.

  7. I really like Ian’s comment; in Michigan and Indiana, when you walk into a good grocery store (say Meijer’s or Strock & Van Til, or whatever it is now), you often find beers and wines matched to the kinds of food in the displays. Liquor is put in its place as simply another food, not just something you can get drunk on. It’s really, really refreshing.

  8. Well, when I lived in Texas, we could go to any number of drive through liquor stores and not even have to get out of the car.

  9. Strib reports that the wheels of bureaucracy spun frantically and before lunch today spit out a $2,000 fine and a 30-day suspension of Surdyk’s liquor license, beginning July1.

    I wonder how the $2,000 compares to 30 days of tax revenues to the city from Surdyk’s. Maybe Surdyk and his friends and employees can protest by blocking traffic at University and Hennepin over 4th of July weekend.

  10. Well, when I lived in Texas

    Heh. We still have drive-through daiquiri bars here.

  11. Strib reports that the wheels of bureaucracy spun frantically and before lunch today spit out a $2,000 fine and a 30-day suspension of Surdyk’s liquor license, beginning July1.

    And why is the license suspension beginning 1 July? Why not effective immediately? We wouldn’t have bureaucrats trying to make an example of Survdyk, would we? On the surface, the timing seems petty and vindictive, not what one should expect from the city’s government.

    Maybe Survdyk will shutter his business in Minneapolis on 1 July and re-open in another jurisdiction like St. Paul or one of the suburbs?

  12. Yea, jpa. I know that those are around, too.

    Also when I was there, open containers were legal. The caveat? If you got caught DUI, they gave some pretty harsh fines/penalties.

  13. Ian in Iowa on March 13, 2017 at 12:40 pm said:

    I remember when I moved to Iowa from Minnesota and being pleasantly surprised to find that not only could I purchase liquor on Sunday, but in the grocery store no less.
    I remember going to a super market in Iowa in the mid-80s and being shocked by the sight of a guy smoking a cigarette in the produce aisle.

  14. I still say Surdyks comes out on top. What happens if they open on 7/2 do the cops come in and bust it up prohibition style? If so that shit will make national news

  15. I wonder how the $2,000 compares to 30 days of tax revenues to the city from Surdyk’s. Maybe Surdyk and his friends and employees can protest by blocking traffic at University and Hennepin over 4th of July weekend.
    This shit has civil disobedience written all over it.

  16. For this to be truly like East Germany, however, they’d have to force liquor stores to sell only Milwaukee’s Beast or something. And you’d have to drive there in a Trabi.

    Inspiring to think of all those people massing at the gate, knowing that the Stasi could take your job, your home, everything because you did.

  17. BB
    parking an overheated Trabi next to a liquor store? Wouldn’t that be considered the same as firebombing a liquor store?

  18. Hang on there, Texans. When my kid was stationed in North Carolina, I ran to the grocery store to get more beer. It was in the cooler by the live bait, the one next to the rack of AR’s for sale, right across the aisle from the fireworks shelf.

    I was so bummed to come home.

  19. Sauk, you’ve got to get it started to get it overheated, no?

    And to be fair to the GDR, I’ve read that beer actually was OK there–it was one area, along with nudist colonies, that the government left alone. There is a lesson there somewhere. At one, it was safe because your wiretap would be obvious if you were with the Stasi, and the other, it was safe because liquor loosens lips and would help them reveal why they were visiting.

  20. Hang on there, Texans. When my kid was stationed in North Carolina, I ran to the grocery store to get more beer. It was in the cooler by the live bait, the one next to the rack of AR’s for sale, right across the aisle from the fireworks shelf.

    The Outer Banks is very underrated. Plus you can get killer mexican there too with all the families that live there because of the constant construction they are doing.

  21. And the fireworks are the fun kind not the wussy kind we legalized. If little Johnny is dumb enough to hold a lit M-80 he deserves to lose his hand

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