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Takeout beer and wine coming to Minnesota restaurants

The proposal would allow Minnesota restaurants to sell one bottle of wine and up to six bottles of beer, seltzer, or hard cider.

The proposal would allow Minnesota restaurants to sell one bottle of wine and up to six bottles of beer, seltzer, or hard cider. Tom Wallace, Star Tribune

Gov. Tim Walz has publicly stated his support for the call to temporary let the state's struggling restaurants sell booze along with takeout food orders.

But, as Walz's other executive orders have already been the cause of some criticism -- misguided thought it might be! -- the governor said he wanted this to come from lawmakers, who've largely been absent from the Capitol this entire month. 

On Wednesday, legislators introduced a bill marking an apparent deal struck on the issue. Under the terms of the bill, beer, hard seltzer, and/or cider would be available in amounts of 72 ounces -- essentially, a six-pack -- or less, while wine could be sold by the 750-milliliter bottle. All must be presented "in their original, unopened packaging." Crucially, the bill language includes the word "and," not "or," meaning you can buy both beer and wine at once.

Despite lobbying from restaurants, hard liquor still couldn't be sold in any amount. Likewise, the minimal amounts in this compromise are scaled back from an earlier proposal to allow for 12-packs and up to two bottles of wine, according to the Star Tribune

To date, 16 other states have passed similar temporary measures to help the restaurant industry.

The business must establish that the person picking up the order is 21 or older. City governments can choose to ban take-out sales locally, under the bill language, which also explicitly prohibits restaurants selling beer and wine as part of delivery service.

The Senate is in session today and expected to debate the bill and take up a vote. If passed there, the House of Representatives could take the bill to a floor vote during its next session, scheduled for noon on Friday.  

The takeout option would last only as long as Walz's order closing dine-in operations at restaurants, which currently extends, along with the rest of the stay-at-home rule, through May 4.

Click here for a rundown of places open for takeout or delivery, and here for our choices of 13 of the best... and here to learn why some decided it wasn't worth it for them to try.