City Council mulling new restrictions for pedal pubs

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January 21, 2013
By: Nick Halter
FILE PHOTO
Nick Halter
Largest local pedal pub operator is largely supportive of the proposed rules

Six years after pubs on wheels hit the streets of Minneapolis, the City Council is considering a list of regulations for the burgeoning industry.

Most residents probably know them as “Pedal Pubs.” That’s the name of the company that first brought the 12-seat rolling bars to the city.

City Council Member Diane Hofstede is proposing a 10 p.m. curfew, a ban on hard alcohol and license fees and inspections for pedal cars and drivers.

Twin Cities PedalPub co-owner Al Boyce said he is largely supportive of the proposed regulations. His company already follows those rules, and said that it’s the influx of three new pub operators that is driving the need for changes.

“We were pretty much already doing all of these things, but last summer saw three competitors come into the market and they did not have similar rules. Some of them wanted to go until 2 a.m. and bring hard liquor on board,” said Boyce, who owns the company with Eric Olson.

PedalPub operates out of four areas: St. Anthony Main, Longfellow, Eat Street and the Holland neighborhood of Northeast.

“I think it’s making it fair for the residents of Minneapolis,” Boyce said of the regulations. “I think, honestly, if you’ve been on it, you know it can get noisy and going until 2 a.m. is kind of crazy.”

Other rules include requiring operators to carry $2 million in insurance, requiring a $59 fee to license drivers and a $98 fee for each pedal car.

Boyce said he doesn’t like paying fees, but understands they’re part of the licensing process.

The city’s Regulatory, Energy and Environment Committee will hold a public hearing on the proposed regulations at 1:30 p.m. Jan. 28 at Minneapolis City Hall.