New liquor store planned for former Porky's space on Central

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January 29, 2013
By: Ben Johnson
Ben Johnson

A new liquor store will soon likely occupy the former Porky's location at 1851 Central Ave NE.

Daniel Kerkinni will go before the city's Planning Commission on Feb. 4 for approval of the conditional use permit that is required for any new liquor stores in Minneapolis. The Department of Community Planning and Economic Development (CPED) has reviewed Kerkinni's application and recommended it for approval.

Community members at a Jan. 15 Windom Park Citizens in Action (WPCiA) meeting expressed frustration that Kerkinni did not meet with them to discuss the project's details and receive community feedback. Most citizens in attendance did not want another liquor store coming to their neighborhood and WPCiA has filed a letter with CPED stating their unanimous opposition to the project. Kerkinni did meet with the WPCiA Community Land Use Committee on Jan. 8.

 City Council Member Kevin Reich (1st Ward) has heard those complaints.

“Traditionally the neighborhood has not been supportive of liquor stores and this is coming on the heels of another liquor store opening in the area,” said Reich, referring to Stinson Wine, Beer and Spirits, which opened July 31 and was the first liquor store to open in Windom Park since Prohibition.

“The real judge will be market response. Most businesses in Northeast need a baseline of support from the community or they do not survive.”

This is not the first attempt to open a liquor store in Minneapolis for Kerkinni. He has been trying for over a year, first thwarted by a law that requires liquor stores to be 300 feet from any school property line, and later beat out by Kowalski's for a conditional use permit.

Due to the tight restrictions Minneapolis places on new liquor stores — in addition to the 300-foot school property rule, they must also be at least 2,000 feet away from another liquor store and reside in  more than 5 acres of contiguous C2/Neighborhood Corridor Commercial zoning — the former Porky's site is one of the last available places a liquor store can fit within city limits.