PRESCOTT, Wisc. - Every Sunday, Wisconsin border towns are crawling with Minnesotans who somehow made it past Saturday without buying enough booze for the weekend.
“A lot of time on Saturdays there's last minute company, and you run out of Booze, beer, whatever,” said Bruce Tiemann of Inver Grove Heights.
For many, it's become routine. Whether once a month, once a week, or in the case of Cal from Coates, MN, “Whenever I get thirsty, I guess.”
And for many, the drive could soon no longer be necessary.
And business in Western Wisconsin will take a hit if the Minnesota Senate passes its Sunday liquor sales bill on Monday, the Governor signs it, and the regulars have options that are closer.
“Yeah it'll definitely be the end of an era. I'll agree with that one,” said Craig Hiniker of St. Croix Liquors in Prescott, WI.
Hiniker says Sunday is their busiest day of the week. Their store is one of first things you see after crossing the river into Wisconsin.
Minnesotans make up at least 40-45% of business on Sundays for St. Croix Liquors.
In Hudson, at Casanova Liquors the owner has said he'd lose an estimated 15-20 percent of all business if Minnesota passes Sunday sales.
Some of those regulars feel bad for these businesses, but, as Karen Klabundy of Cottage Grove points out, “I don't think they are going to go to Wisconsin just because they feel bad.”
Other regulars are more blunt.
“No, I don’t feel bad at all,” said Tiemann. “It’s like 70 miles, round trip. I wouldn’t be coming to Wisconsin. I’d be spending my money in Minnesota. I can’t wait until the Sunday law passes.”
Some things, like Spotted Cow beer, can be found *only* in Wisconsin.
But when Sunday sales are no longer on that list, many Minnesotans say they'll stay west of the river.