City of Edina finally moving toward legalizing happy hour

Soon, you might actually be able to buy something cheap in Edina.
Soon, you might actually be able to buy something cheap in Edina.

Twenty years after restaurants with on-sale liquor licenses were first allowed to open in the city, Edina is finally moving toward legalizing happy hours.

What sorts of wacky policy innovations will council members in the land of 50th & France and the Galleria think of next?

KSTP reports that the Minnesota Restaurant Association is working with the city on a solution to the no-happy hour problem, which it sees as a competitive disadvantages for restaurants there (Edina doesn't allow bars).

So why weren't happy hours weren't allowed in the first place? According to Edina Patch, two recent proposals to legalize drink discounts were shot down by the city due to concerns about day drunks endangering the safety of kids leaving school.

Those shot-down proposals were put forth by Edina Grill owner David Burley. Burley told Patch he recalls the city council's logic going something like this:

Since happy hours normally occur about the time kids are getting out of school, there was concern patrons would be a risk to get into driving accidents with school buses. I've been in the restaurant business for nearly 20 years and in all that time with all those combined happy hours, I have no recollection of one of our patrons going out and hitting a school bus.

Absurd as that might sound, the anti-happy hour ordinance remains in place. Last spring, council member Joni Bennett told Patch that she believes "Edina is free to have a different philosophy on happy hours than the communities which surround us." That's true, but now, thanks in part to the restaurant association's cajoling, Edina finally seems ready to allow its restaurants break from the prevailing norm in the rest of the city and sell something discounted.

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