MINNETONKA, Minn. -- After some resistance, Total Wine & More is coming to Minnetonka.
Last night, city council granted an off-sale liquor license to the national retailer. It will be located at the former Golfsmith location in the Ridgedale Festival Center near the I-394/I-494 junction.
In September 2016, the motion to grant the license failed.
"The thing that really changed was they changed the location and they decided that they would buy two liquor businesses and close them," said City Council Member Brad Wiersum, who originally voted "no" and this time around voted in favor of the plan.
According to Wiersum, the 14200 Wayzata Boulevard location can better handle the increase in traffic. As part of the plan, Total Wine will buy and close Big Top Liquors and U.S. Liquor & Wine.
"So my big argument has been that Minnetonka has plenty of liquor stores. We have 50,000 people here and we have 10 liquor stores. So basically, one for every 5,000 population," Wiersum said. "So by taking out two liquor stores and adding one, we are actually reducing the number of liquor stores in Minnetonka."
But some local liquor stores worry about how they will compete with Total Wine's selection and prices. At each of its stores, Total Wine & More offers at least 8,000 different wines, 3,000 spirits and 2,500 beers.
"It'll hurt. I'm sure it'll take away a little business," said Adam Williams, manager of Strong Liquor.
Strong Liquor is less than four miles away from the Total Wine location.
"Nothing we can do about it but just try to be competitive and keep going. We have a real loyal customer base here though so I know probably 75 percent of the people that come in here by their first name. So that's hopefully what will separate us and keep people coming here," Williams said.
Total Wine Spokesperson Edward Cooper told KARE 11 that there isn't a set opening date but that it could open later this year. According to Cooper, stores typically take four to six months to build.
This will be Total Wine's eighth location in the Twin Cities. It also has stores in Bloomington, Burnsville, Chanhassen, Eagan, Maple Grove, Roseville and Woodbury.
Minnetonka City Council will vote May 22 on another liquor license. Target is applying to sell liquor at its store on County Road 101.
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