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An End to Temperance in Lakeside, Or Perhaps Not.

I read today that the city council passed a resolution by a vote of 6-3 on Monday asking the Legislature to vote to rescind the 1887 annexation agreement that prohibits alcohol sales in Lakeside--which would then apparently bounce the issue back to the council for a final decision.

I note, too, that Mayor Bergson apparently intends to veto said resolution, citing the "promise that was made many years ago [120 years, to be exact] to the citizens of New London." He cites as well the fact that the great majority of correspondence that he has received on the issue from concerned Lakeside residents has been opposed to the potential opening of alcohol sales.

“It’s their neighborhood,” he said. “Who am I or anybody else to tell Lakeside what their neighborhood should be like?
Since I, at least, would welcome alcohol sales in Lakeside, I took the opportunity to let him know that. Although the fact that the yeas' six votes would be enough to override any potential veto in the waning days of everyone's terms, I have the feeling that this issue may be around for a bit. So if you live down in Lakeside you may want to weigh in, if just to correct the record.

I think the alcohol sales ban is an odd relic of the 19th century, and so do most people I know--why some subset of our neighbors remains so attached to it is something on which I'm unclear. If one of you is out there in the great beyond, perhaps you could enlighten me.


i was at the council meeting last nite and saw the nimby's up-close and personal. they're all over 70 and whacked out christians and fear mongers. one guy quoted bible verses and basically said the lord will fix everything; notably the owners of the New London Cafe. if they pray that is.......i don't know how council members keep straight faces. i commend them! i'm attending more of these btw as they're better than soaps or reality tv.

not to stoke some dying embers but, hopefully any liquor store that opens will be as kewl as the Shanty! The smell of coors light and fruity freshman alcho-aid drinks will attrack some of the party ass student rentals away from our neighborhood and into the rest of the city. Yep, we should ALL share the effects this has, then maybe something REAL will get done to fix it.

Free the Lakeside boozehounds!

I tend to favor allowing the sale of alcohol, but innately feel that it should be put to a special election referendum for the citizens it would affect.

Can't the City of Duluth run a referendum in just Precincts 1 through 7 and let Lakeside registered voters vote on it? That would put it either to roost or to bed, yes? Or is that too easy?

Wow, now there's democracy in action for you.

I doubt I would find much agreement with the reasoning of most of those opposing the sale of liquor in Lakeside, but nonetheless, it is their neighborhood. Like Bergson said, who is the city council to unilaterally decide what is best for them when they are apparently avidly opposed to changing the law?

Who benefits from changing the law and why in the heck is Johnson supporting something that she herself admits her constituents oppose? I would expect such elitist authoritarianism from Washington but it's a bit difficult to say you're fighting for the better good when you're introducing alcohol into a neighborhood that doesn't want it.

Also, though I like Stewart, his argument about fairness falls flat on its face. Fairness for whom? For the one cafe in all of Lakeside that wants to sell beer? How is it unfair for a business to be prohibited from selling alcohol when the owner(s) were perfectly well aware of that fact in the first place?

I'm going to move to a dry county in Kentucky, open a restaurant, decry the county government as unfair, push legislation to allow me to sell alcohol then call all the people in the county opposed to my plan backward bible-thumping hicks.

Well, andy, like I said, I'm not convinced that her constituents as a group are nearly as opposed to this as the handful of people who have been most outspoken about it. If you extrapolate from a skewed sample, you can draw some erroneous conclusions.

I don't know what kind of options the council has if the legislature rescinds the annexation clause. It might wind up as a ballot issue.

As for the New London Cafe--my hope would be that they might not remain the only restaurant in Lakeside, whether or not this goes through.

I wonder how much money the Marshall family is giving the politicians to vote against this.

for YEARS they have held this back and squashed all hopes of it at every turn.

Last time I looked Lakeside was part of Duluth, not a separate city. Shouldn't rules apply to all of us? Maybe they should secede and then get a posse to go door to door to clean out the liquor cabinets.

Lakeside wasn't always part of Duluth though--in 1886, it was incorporated as the [dry] village of Lakeside. In 1893, Duluth annexed the village, but as a condition of that deal the city agreed to retain the dry status of the community--and that agreement can't be overturned without the permission of the state legislature.

Isn't Morgan Pk also dry? Why aren't the councilors wanting to change MP's dry status? Why Lakeside? I find it fascinating that some of the pro-business types who live in Lakeside and voted for Todd Fedora have now become a bunch of NIMBYs when it comes to this issue, which is pretty much a non-issue -- though I don't know if the old guy who's getting God to help out New London cafe is pro-business or not. I, for one, am glad that I don't have to drive far to pick up a few bottles of good wine, it would definitely have an impact on my quality of life. But then I believe that wine & beer should be sold in grocery stores, as it is in my homeland.
BTW, for those who care: I was not kicked off the new DCB as the trolls and freaks who hang out there claim -- all I'll say about my reasons for no longer wasting my time posting there is, the lunatics are *totally* running that insane asylum.

I get a kick out of those that worry about a little liquor being sold in Lakeside. Heck years ago that was the part of town I used to go to get illegal drugs. Yep sold right out of a house in the heart of their little Alice in Wonderland neighborhood.

How much, what kind and can I get some?

I did say years ago. I have been clean and sober for about 20 years now. However, I'm sure there are still such houses in Lakeside as there are in all parts of this city or any city.

I'm sure that the Goldfine's are also probably tugging on whatever strings they can to keep this ban in effect, since the business that stands to lose the most from allowing booze in Lakeside is Lake Aire.

I am in favor of letting liquor be sold in Lakeside. I think it would be a good business opportunity for someone and bring some jobes to that neighborhood. On the other hand, let's just see how fairly the license is distributed. You can't tell me the fix isn't in on this one.

Anarchy is ruffling some DCB feathers with his post as well. Some guy named Cornholio doesn't seem to like what he/she had to say.

The Marshall family isn't giving any money to any politicians for this. That's basically preposterous.

I think the argument that Lake Aire would suffer (and therefore, the Goldfines) wouldn't hold up in court.

Sure, Lake Aire may be the closest liquor store to Lakeside but I think their trade relies more heavily on college students and tourists then Lakeside residents.


It's pretty easy ruffling the feathers of the cranks over at DCB, who must have their knickers twisted too tightly around their privates or something, they are the crabbiest people I've ever seen! If they're that crabby and mean during the holiday season, what must they be like during the rest of the year? Like I've said before, the lunatics have taken over that insane asylum.

It's nice to find such reasonable discussion about Duluth on the internet. I'm another lifetime Lakeside resident who has always despised the ban, as have almost all of my neighbors for as long as I've lived here. It's ridiculous in this day and age to have a law that effectively requires people to drive home from bars.

It is, however, tough to get people fired up enough to go to a Monday night council meeting because they hope to see a neighborhood pub get a liquor license in Lakeside in the next ten years or so. It's probably quite a bit easier to motivate people who sincerely feel that their back yard will turn in to a red light district if this thing gets repealed...

My opinion is that folks should e-mail their councilors. Bergson has done pretty much all he can to derail this thing.


I don't know if the Marshalls are giving money to anyone, but I do know that Darlene Marshall wrote a letter to the editor (I think in the Budgeteer) opposing liquor in Lakeside.

I mention this because Darlene Marshall was recently appointed to the DECC board of directors. At her confirmation hearing, Councilor Jim Stauber mentioned that the state was concerned that the DECC was buying liquor for prospective clients, which violates state law. He asked Marshall what she would do about this if she were on the board. Without a blink, she said, "I would change state law."

Claire, I am willing to bet it is you and I who are the two PDDers on that site that some of those lunes can't stop discussing. Why do we do it and why is it so much fun sometimes?

Hey Nbayuk, I don't know about you, but I stopped posting on DCB (even though the trolls there claim every articulate post they don't agree with must have been written by me -- like I have time to waste on people who got stomped on during the election). It indeed was fun ruffling their feathers, but then when one troll actually did a public records search on me, I decided I'd rather spend my time elsewhere or at least smoke something else. That place is like an alternative universe! I did have a good laugh, though, over the troll's longwinded and rather inane explanation for why he happened to "guess" I used to live in a small town no one's heard of, next door to the equally liberal, much better known Chapel Hill. Whatever. Good luck posting on DCB, but keep your doors locked, those freaks are walking our streets!

Roger, that is a really good point about people in Lakeside being forced to drive home from bars -- that is a point that proponents wanting to repeal the ban should emphasize -- the nearest bar is Blackwoods, which is 26th & London, that's a drive along a long stretch of road, if you live in Lakeside. I live in a neighborhood which has enjoyed a cafe for the last 5 years, I love it, it has definitely improved my quality of life, I like being able to walk somewhere, have a meal, enjoy a glass of wine and not worry about driving home. I think having a neighborhood place owned by locals makes for a closer community -- whenever I go to the cafe down the street, I run into half my neighbors -- that doesn't happen downtown. And I'm just glad to go out to eat somewhere that's not owned by the usual suspects, the Pauluccis and/or the Goldfines.

Claire, that's the exact sentiment that I and most of my neighbors have been expressing when we discuss this, but you lay it out perfectly. Some people don't appreciate the community building element of a neighborhood pub or cafe, and that's really what we're talking about here, because that's all that would ever get a liquor license.

The Councilors are taking a great deal of heat from a very excited voting block over this. When the council has a special meeting to override the veto, it seems crucial that there be a significant population of reasonable, articulate people in favor of lifting the ban present. What's the best way to get turnout at those meetings?

Would that town's name start with a C and rhyme with Tarboro?

[inadvertently revealing that he, too, is some kind of creepy weirdo]

I think you have to call your friends in the district, tell them -- BEG them to show up and make sure everyone is on message when they get up to the mike -- though that guy with the direct pipeline to god is pretty tough to top. I hear from my council friends that they are being inundated with emails -- well, you have got to get your allies emailing councilors as well. They do pay attention to those emails. Good luck.

Big E -- don't you think my new moniker has a nice ring to it? I'm so glad to hear someone besides me -- and that troll over at DCB who did his public records search on me has heard of Carrboro -- "the Paris of the Piedmont." Isn't it incredible that the DCB troll would have simply guessed -- to paraphrase Rick in Casablanca -- of all the cities and towns east of the Mississippi that I may have lived there? Those were the glory days, Carrboro is/was the coolest town on the planet. It still is.

It does have a certain je ne sais quoi.

I feel that the skiing here is a lot better than in Orange County. Nonetheless, I'll be going out somewhere to watch the Dook game, as I retain some allegiances in that part of the world.

I won't be going out in Lakeside though, unfortunately.

Yes, Big E, the skiing in Carrboro did stink -- I think it snowed there once the entire time I lived there. But, I sure did enjoy those evenings on the lawn at Weaver St. Mkt. Now, that was nice, being able to purchase my wine and beer, along with my organic produce, there. I really do hope that, someday, we all in Minn will be free to buy wine & beer at our favorite grocery stores.

The neighborhood is better off without liquor.People just have to screw with a good thing.Johnson showed her true colors on this issue and her political career is over.What a shame.She shows that you that you can't trust anyone.Mind your own buisiness and stay the out of my great neighborhood.Like Duluth needs more alcohol!

oh how I pine for the heyday of the Gilliat Street Brewery, right in the heart of Lakeside...lazy saturdays in Chris German's lopsided garage listening to Dead tapes and tending the mash tun, filling carboys and cooling the wort tun in a snowbank...freezing our asses off waiting for the mash to boil...good times, good times.

Well, sugardaddy, it's my neighborhood too, and I applaud the council's move. Make of it what you will.

If beer and wine were sold in grocery stores, we wouldn't have to deal with an antiquated agreement between the Marshall family, who ruled Lakeside at the time, and the city of Duluth. I thought hbh posted a really interesting and thoughtful history of this issue on Progressive Action. I say the State Legislature should be looking at letting beer and wine be sold in grocery stores, instead of this silly resolution about one little neighborhood that the city council passed on to them. I was just in Calif., buying groceries for a large group of family members, and it certainly saved me some time and gas to do everything in one fell swoop.

everytime i go grocery shopping here in illinois, i walk past the alchohol section and think to myself, "geez, it is the one policy-type thing i would miss if i ever moved back to minnesota." i am totally not being sarcastic. there are time limits to when they are allowed to sell (i.e. not super late at night). but it is totally convienient.

There's a big push by the association of grocers to amend the state law to allow beer and wine sales in grocery stores...and it's been coming for quite a while...right about the time that the growler law went into effect...

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