Drinking in Public Is Now Legal in This Minnesota City
Right now, you can stroll along the streets of this Minnesota city-- and legally enjoy an alcoholic beverage while you do it!
When it comes to laws concerning alcohol, Minnesota has historically been a bit of a strange state. Heck, the Land of 10,000 Lakes only legalized Sunday liquor sales as recently as 2017, and we remain the only state that makes grocery stores sell something called '3.2 beer' instead of the regular beer liquor stores sell.
Of course, I'm a Wisconsin native, and having grown up behind the Cheddar Curtain, where alcohol laws are *just a bit* more liberal, makes the North Star State's attitudes on adult beverages seem even more old-school and conservative to me.
But there's one Minnesota city that's doing something about these seemingly archaic attitudes concerning alcohol. Because they're testing a new policy that now makes it legal to drink in public-- on city streets even!
As we first noted a few weeks ago, the city of Anoka, located in the northwest Twin Cities metro, gave the green light to and has now officially started a new test that has legalized a new open-container policy on alcohol in a special area downtown, the Minneapolis-St. Paul Business Journal noted.
That's right, Anoka is the first-- and right now, only-- city in the North Star State that allows public drinking by anyone 21 and older, as long as they consume any alcoholic beverages inside this special 'social zone.' According to the city of Anoka's website:
This 'Social District' is a specific area that allows people to purchase and drink beer, wine, or a cocktail from a licensed business and walk through a defined area of the city including public spaces such as a sidewalk or street to allow for participation in a district event/activity.
The Social District involved in this special pilot program is located in the downtown area of the city along the eastern edge of the Rum River, where many bars and restaurants are located. It officially kicked off Wednesday, September 6th, and will run through October 7th, 2023, the city said.
Anoka went on to say that it's the ONLY city in Minnesota that's allowed to test this new policy, the city noted, thanks to a provision passed by the Minnesota Legislature in the Omnibus Liquor Bill earlier this year. The city says it will report its findings to the state of Minnesota to set an example for Anoka and other cities to implement a social district in the future.
There are a lot of other provisions that are included in this new experiment (read more HERE) but I'm glad Minnesota is at least TRYING something like this! Other U.S. cities like Las Vegas, New Orleans, and Memphis already have similar policies in place, which made for a great time when I was there.
Will this new experiment take off and eventually be legal in other cities here in Minnesota? Only time will tell, I guess-- but it seems like a great idea to help increase activity and bring people to downtown areas across the state, doesn't it?