One thumbs up, two thumbs down for Sunday liquorVoters approve measure in Lismore, turn back proposals in Luverne, Midway Township
A question posed to voters in two communities and one township in the region proved that not everyone is ready to allow their local businesses to serve up a glass of wine or a mixed drink on Sundays.
By: Julie Buntjer, Worthington Daily Globe
LUVERNE — A question posed to voters in two communities and one township in the region proved that not everyone is ready to allow their local businesses to serve up a glass of wine or a mixed drink on Sundays.
The Sunday liquor measure was defeated in Luverne and in Midway Township of Cottonwood County, while the voters of Lismore approved the measure by a margin of nearly 3-1.
Pam Erdman, co-owner of the Lismore Bar & Grill was pleased with the 78 votes cast in favor of Sunday liquor in the community. There were 28 votes cast against the measure.
“It kind of just shows me that people in the community are … glad we’re back open,” said Erdman.
Lismore Bar & Grill reopened in August 2007 after it had been closed for nearly four months.
While the business isn’t typically open on Sundays, Erdman said getting the measure passed will open up new opportunities for them.
“It’s not that we will be open on Sunday; it’s just that if there is a special occasion that comes up on Sunday that we will be able to do that,” she said. “We have that option now if we would like to do that.”
The residents of Luverne have faced the request to serve liquor on Sunday at least three times in the last two decades, and the outcome this time around was the same — no.
Voters on Tuesday rejected the idea by a margin of 1,232 to 1,180.
While the measure was defeated, there was a narrowing compared to the results the last time voters faced the issue in 2004. Back then, the measure failed by a spread of 1,433 to 1,023.
Sharkee’s Bar & Grill, located along U.S. 75 in Luverne, requested the measure be added to Tuesday’s ballot. Matt Lais, who manages the business, said he expects the measure will resurface in a future election.
“We’re just trying to give people an option where they can come out and dine and, if they want … have a couple of beverages and keep the business in Luverne,” said Lais.
He said a lot of local people can be seen on Sunday nights at another bar and grill located just 20 minutes west of town — in Brandon, S.D. — and he wants to see that business stay in Luverne.
“We’re not forcing people to drink, we’re giving people options and trying to keep business in town as the economy is hurting,” said Lais.
In Cottonwood County, the residents of Midway Township voted down a request by the Mountain Lake Golf Course to serve liquor on Sundays with 91 opposed and 57 in favor.
Midway Township Clerk Dana Kass said it was the first time she knew of that the measure was put before voters.
“I had to put it on a general election ballot. It wasn’t something that just the township supervisors could vote on,” Kass said.
The Sunday liquor request appeared only on the township ballot as the golf course is located about a half-mile northwest of the city of Mountain Lake.