Booze at Lake Harriet Advances

The following article by Eric Roper was posted on the Star-tribune Blog on April 18, 2013:

Booze at Lake Harriet advances

Is alcohol coming to Lake Harriet?

The Minneapolis Park Board signed off on a resolution Wednesday night to support bringing booze to Lake Harriet’s two-year-old Bread & Pickle eatery.

The City Council still needs to approve the liquor license — a process that could take weeks — but it’s likely the business will be able to sell alcohol sometime this summer. Bread & Pickle hasn’t opened yet for the season.

Allowing the concession stand to sell beer and wine would bring it in line with Tin Fish and Sea Salt, at Lake Calhoun and Minnehaha Falls.

But don’t take that glass of beer too far. Alcohol is not allowed in city parks, except in specified areas. The size of that area was constrained by the Park Board at last night’s meeting (see two diagrams below).

“It’s a smaller area,” said owner Kim Bartmann, who first started pursuing the license in fall 2011. “I believe it’s going to be very hard operationally. But I believe that unless I do it, it won’t be able to be expanded later.”

Arlene Fried, a co-founder of Park Watch, spoke at Wednesday night’s Board meeting against the original delineations for where drinking would be allowed. She said that planters and tables will create “barriers and congestion” for people walking through.

“Allowing one use to dominate this compact and very popular public area is poor planning; and, in this case, just plain dangerous,” Fried said in prepared remarks: “The Lake Harriet concessions stand was never meant to be a wine and beer garden any more than it was meant to be a Dairy Queen.”


The Park Board passed the resolution Thursday night, with this revised drinking area: