The new Commons park. Photo by Sarah McKenzie

The new Commons park. Photo by Sarah McKenzie

Proposed ordinance would allow beer, wine in the Commons

Updated: April 4, 2017 - 1:25 pm

Downtown East residents out for a movie night could soon pack a bottle of wine when picnicking in the park.

City Council Member Jacob Frey is proposing an ordinance that would allow parkgoers to consume their own beer and wine in the Downtown East Commons park during designated events.

Frey, whose ward includes the Downtown East neighborhood, said under the ordinance, visitors would likely be only to drink beer and wine at events like a regular movie night. Such an event series is still in the works, but could begin this spring or summer, he added.

The ordinance, first proposed last year, would likely only affect the park’s eastern block closer to U.S. Bank Stadium. Frey said the law wouldn’t affect the Minnesota Vikings’ use of the Commons for game-day events.

The ordinance would diverge from other park rules that bar booze that isn’t served at park concessions, permitted events or restaurants like Sea Salt Eatery or Tin Fish. The Commons isn’t yet home to two proposed structures that could house concessions or a restaurant, in addition to park offices, storage and restrooms, though the park does host food trucks during warmer months. The ordinance would not affect alcohol consumption in other parks where BYOB is illegal.

A public hearing on the ordinance is planned for April 18 at 1:30 p.m.