Vikings block parties in Warehouse District up against state law

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November 5, 2012 // UPDATED 6:01 pm - January 1, 2013
By: Journal staff
Journal staff

Warehouse District bars have been working this fall on a plan to close off traffic on two city blocks to allow for Vikings game day parties, where patrons can go from bar to bar without tossing their drinks.

But Minnesota state law is preventing that idea, at least for now. State law does not allow patrons to bring a drink from one bar to another, a central part of the plan.  

The idea is to close off 1st Avenue between 4th and 6th streets. For bar geographers, that means the streets with Brothers Bar and Grill, Loon Café, The Imperial Room, The 508 Bar & Restaurant and others. 

Joanne Kaufman, executive director of the Warehouse District Business Association, said patrons would be able to buy commemorative cups and use them at participating bars, where the cups would get them drink specials. 

Kaufman said the idea formed after the city began allowing “railgating” closer to the Metrodome, where food trucks now line up on game days. 

Kaufman said the block parties aren’t likely to happen this season, because changes are needed to state law. She’s not sure if it ever will come to fruition. 

“The purpose of it was to encourage people to visit businesses in the Warehouse District as the start of the Purple Path, because to be perfectly honest, the railgating close to the Metrodome has had a negative impact to some of our businesses on game days,” she said. 

The Purple Path Kaufman speaks of is a new idea brought forth by Mayor R.T. Rybak in September. That was when he announced the railgating plan, and said he wanted a path to connect the west side of downtown with the Metrodome, and later, with the new Vikings stadium.