Bars in the cities of Breezy Point and Lake Shore will have a 2 a.m. closing time, at least for a little while.
The city councils of both cities recently approved a trial 2 a.m. closing time for 90 days.
A difference between the two cities is Breezy Point bars will be allowed to be open until 2 a.m. on Fridays and Saturdays only, while Lake Shore will have a 2 a.m. closing time every day. In Lake Shore, Zorbaz has already applied for a 2 a.m. closing license.
A new state law, passed by the Legislature and signed by Gov. Tim Pawlenty this spring, moves the state mandated bar closing time from 1 a.m. to 2 a.m. Cities that wish to stay at 1 a.m. need to pass ordinances establishing that closing time.
The city councils of Brainerd, Baxter, Pequot Lakes, Nisswa, Crosby and Emily, as well as the Crow Wing County Board, have all opted to keep a 1 a.m. bar closing time.
The Crosslake City Council hasn't made its decision yet. The city will hold a public hearing on the issue at 7 p.m. July 29 at the Crosslake Community Center. The East Gull Lake City Council also hasn't made a closing time decision.
Bar closing time has been 1 a.m. in Minnesota since 1949. In cities where it's allowed, a bar choosing to stay open until 2 a.m. would pay a license fee of between $200-$600, depending on the volume of liquor sales.
The Legislature expects about $6 million in revenue from the extended closing time, with that money being used to put more State Patrol troopers on Minnesota highways.
Brainerd Dispatch ©2013. All Rights Reserved.