Unpaid

Sarah McKenzie

Fowl Play, Dinkytown’s only hard-liquor establishment, could find its liquor license in jeopardy in the coming weeks.
State liquor license inspectors confiscated alcohol at Fowl Play on Friday, alleging the liquor was purchased illegally. The bar closed after the inspection, but re-opened Tuesday.
The bar has been on the city’s list for not paying taxes since December. Grant Wilson, a license inspector from Minneapolis said the bar has since been prohibited from receiving shipments of alcohol from wholesalers because of the tax delinquency.
Additionally, inspectors found liquor at the establishment that had been purchased from local liquor stores. The bar’s liquor license requires all purchases be made through wholesalers.
“In the meantime, the bar can’t legally get any products,” Wilson said.
He added that the Minneapolis City Council will conduct a hearing to review Fowl Play’s liquor license in two weeks, and that the majority of the bar’s alcohol stock was seized during the inspection.
But Fowl Play’s proprietor contends that despite the temporary closing, it’s business-as-usual at Dinkytown’s sole saloon.
“Everything is fine here,” said Fowl Play owner Michael Yacoub. “There are a lot of rumors out there right now.”
Yacoub said he was not at the bar Friday and did not know alcohol had been confiscated by city inspectors.
The cafe on the first floor of the establishment has been closed since Friday. Yacoub said he is closing the cafe indefinitely because it has become a financial burden. He laid off six employees because of the closing.
The size of his staff is up in the air, but right now he has about 20 employees, Yacoub said.
Jonathan Lopez, who said he resigned his position as manager of Fowl Play on Thursday, claims the bar is in financial trouble. Lopez said the bar has been delinquent on tax payments and other bills.
According to Hennepin County records, no legal action has been taken against the bar for failing to pay taxes.
Wilson said an inspector will keep close tabs on the bar before the licensing hearing to make sure the establishment is not selling liquor purchased from a local store.