Monday, March 28, 2011

Approval For Liquor Store At The Current BJ's Strip Club Site...

Photo and blog post by John Hoff

Despite outcries by a number of citizens in North Minneapolis, word reaches me the city council recently approved a liquor store at the current BJ's strip club located at the intersection of West Broadway and Washington Avenue North. The only bright spot in this news was surely the disappointment felt by Merwin Liquors, who actually...

...sponsored a bus to bring people to the city council hearing and distributed fliers saying, in so many words, "We don't need another liquor store in North Minneapolis."

Somehow this statement comes across as less-than-sincere when it comes from the lips of A COMPETING LIQUOR STORE. It's kind of like a strip club saying, "We don't need another strip club right down the street!" (Credit for this example goes to the Hawthorne Hawkman)

Despite this setback, neighbors are somewhat hopeful this project might be a high end liquor store and not another Merwin Liquors. Apparently specific promises have been made about not selling fortified wines and not allowing transactions made with nothing but coins. All the same, it's going to be tough to see a liquor store replacing a strip club as any kind of progress.

At least there's no anecdotal evidence of liquor store clerks becoming straw buyers in North Minneapolis mortgage fraud schemes, unlike strippers. Click here for an example.


Anonymous said...

This is a lose/lose proposition.

If the new liquor store starts to draw the few upscale shoppers away from Merwin's; Merwins will give up all pretense of class in order to recapture lost market share from the riff-raff within in the heart of NoMi...

If the New Store can't break into the upscale market, they will lower standards to appeal to lowlifes in an effort to cover their start-up costs (just like their last venture). This will help block the upscale condo markets encroachment working it's way up Washington Ave and convince potential developers who are reputable that NoMi is too hard of an egg to crack.

Johnny Northside! said...

Any class to be found at Merwins is indeed a pretense of class, like their bling-coated drink glasses. A couple weeks ago I was in there and OMG there was a CONDOM laying on the door mat. I had to tell the clerk to get somebody to clean it up.

Another time, quite recently, I was in there and some customer--obviously a chronic inebriate--was interacting loudly and rudely with the other store customers, including me and the friend who was with me. Security didn't do much of anything. Hell, the guy hadn't spent his money, yet, so what are they going to do? Kick him out?

But I won't gripe too much. They fixed their "butt fence" at considerable expense and we're all grateful for that. But when it comes to the "pretense of class," I actually wish they WOULD give it up because it's just a glorification of bling-o-centric thug culture.

Anonymous said...

I give the it less than a year before it goes trashy. This place is going to be one stop shopping for every low life in the area. It's within a short walk of the scrap yards. So, after some low life cashes in the copper he has freshly stolen from a vacant house here on the North side, it's just a hop, skip, and a jump to the nearest place to spend that ill-gotten money on some booze.
It seems almost inevitable that some drunken dolt will eventually stagger East from there and end up falling into the Mississippi. Then of course, somebody will erect a crappy pseudo-memorial eyesore along the riverbank piled high with empty booze bottles and moldy stuffed animals. Shit, if this tragic scenario happens often enough, we'll end up damming up the river with a barrage of sentimental cardboard and sharpie marker signs, crusty plush animals, booze bottles and whatever other garbage passes for a fit way to honor somebody's memory around here.
Who knows what the environmental implications of that would be. I'll assume catastrophic... And so you see, students, that the addition of this liquor store will bring about the collapse of the local ecosystem!
Okay, maybe not, but more liquor is about the last thing North needs.

Anonymous said...

Is there some shortage of liquor in the neighborhood? Good grief. Honestly, when I want to buy a bottle of wine or a six-pack of Sierra Nevada Pale Ale, I go to North Loop (on Washington Ave) or Haskins (downtown), since I really have no interest in supporting folks whose business model is to (a) find a vulnerable demographic and (b) exploit the bejeezus out of it, no matter how damaging it is to the neighborhood. Supporting neighborhood businesses is fine. Supporting the neighborhood tapeworm is counterproductive.

NoMi Passenger said...

@Anon 9:03am, I'd highly recommend giving BLO a try. That is, ummm, Broadway Liquor Outlet. Find them at Penn/WBro.

They do a really good job of maintaining a more than decent liquor store and keeping their surrounding area as pleasant as possible. I love their wine section. They have some fun beers and ciders. I love the vintage decor they went with a few years ago during a remodel.

I love BLO.