The discount liquor store at the intersection of E Lake Street and 22nd Ave S is under investigation by the City of Minneapolis. On July 31, Hi Lake Liquors was issued a $200 citations for selling a ½ pint of Barton’s vodka for $2.53 in loose change to a City staff member. This is in violation of the store’s business license operating conditions, which includes not accepting more than $1.50 in change for the sale of an item.
Minneapolis Code of Ordinances allows for the City Council to institute business license operating conditions. The previous owner of Hi Lake Liquors had conditions on his license. When the new operator of the store took over last Fall, he also signed the same conditions on his license. Limits on accepting large amounts of loose change is meant to discourage panhandling.
Additionally, Hi Lake Liquors has been caught twice selling to minors. On one occasion an employee of the store sold a tobacco product to a minor during a regular compliance check that the City conducts on all tobacco dealers. The City is required by State Statute to check all businesses that sell tobacco products at least once per year. The store has since passed a follow up check.
On another occasion a store employee sold an alcohol product to a minor during a regular compliance check that Minneapolis Police conduct. MPD has also performed a follow up check and they passed the second check. Hi Lake Liquors has paid the corresponding administrative fines which is the same as pleading guilty to the offenses.
In a rare situation, the store will be participating in a License Settlement Conference (LSC) on Thursday, August 29. This conference is an informal, voluntary civil process conducted by the Department of Regulatory Services-Business License Division. The process has been authorized by the City Council to resolve violations and misconduct of business license holders.
“We attempt to resolve any allegations of misconduct through a settlement agreement,” states Lead License Inspector, Julie Casey. “Agreements include but are not limited to administrative fines, business operating conditions, and suspensions.”
If any community members have comments or concerns about Hi Lake Liquors in regards to these violations please message firstname.lastname@example.org.