New Duluth Alcohol Ordinance Bothers Downtown Business Owner

A special meeting of the Alcohol Review Board has been called.

Follow Duluth news on Patch.
Follow Duluth news on Patch.
Feeling that his business is threatened, a downtown Duluth business owner has asked to address the city's Alcohol Review Board about the city's recently amended alcohol ordinance.

Greg Lindquist of Best of Brews on Main Street is unhappy about the portion of the alcohol ordinance that now allows growler (draft beer to go) stores in areas other than downtown.

The Duluth City Council approved that and other changes in the ordinance at its Dec. 9 meeting. The old ordinance limited growler licenses like Best of Brews to the downtown area.

The city Alcohol Review Board, which usually reviews things before they reach the full City Council, has called a Dec. 18 meeting to hear from Lindquist. The notice on the city website said a quorum of City Council members may be present, but no council action will be taken.

Lindquist feels that if growler stores open elsewhere in Duluth, that his business will suffer. In a recent conversation with Patch, he pointed to the city of Alpharetta as an example.

He added that he originally wanted to open on Peachtree Industrial Boulevard, but was persuaded to open in downtown by Duluth leaders, who have made downtown redevelopment a priority. Best of Brews opened in 2011, and also sells beer on tap.

Ironically, a request by Lindquist led to another change in the new alcohol ordinance. The new law now will allow patrons to consume alcohol in Parsons Alley, which is located behind Best of Brews.

But Lindquist said "we're not going to invest another penny" under the current situation. In order to sell to Parsons Alley patrons, Best of Brews had planned to construct a small tavern outside, in the rear of his business.

-- How do you feel about the city's new alcohol ordinance? Tell us in the comments below.

David Cossette December 17, 2013 at 03:52 PM
The city council voted unanimously on December 9th to approve Growler sales in C-2 zoning districts in Duluth. This removed the anticompetitive business climate that the previous ordinance established. As council member Bomar has previously stated “Duluth is bigger than just downtown and we need to consider what is best for all of Duluth when we make decisions” and I believe she made the right decision with her vote on December 9th. Keep in mind that competition is good for the consumer in that it provides more selection, better quality and lower prices.
Dusty Graham December 20, 2013 at 02:36 PM
I made those same comments when I ran for council in 2011.


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