Market loses license

The Fourth Street Market's beer license was suspended after selling to minors.

Charley Bruce

Selling a six-pack of beer usually doesn’t cost the vendor.

But after selling three to minor decoys last year, the Fourth Street Market will give up its off-sale beer license in a deal with the city.

The Minneapolis City Council negotiated with the shop, at 805 Fourth St. S.E., on Friday to suspend its license after it sold alcohol to male and female 18- to 20-year-olds on three occasions in 2006.

On all three occurrences the cashier checked the underage IDs of the buyers and still sold them the beer, according to city documents.

The store has to pay $2,000 in fines and late fees to the city, according to city documents, in addition to losing the license.

Fourth Street Market management could not be reached for comment despite repeated calls and visits to the store.

Police Lt. Travis Glampe said the city checks for alcohol compliance about 400 times per year.

The frequency varies from one to two per week, he said.

“It all depends on the week,” Glampe said.

He said about 20 to 25 percent of businesses in 2006 failed compliance checks.

After a business fails multiple compliance checks, the city can revoke the license, Glampe said.

In this case, the city and the business negotiated a settlement where the Fourth Street Market is voluntarily relinquishing its license, he said.

“We sit down with the businesses and try to work out a solution that’s mutually beneficial to both city and the business,” Glampe said.

The market can reapply for its license in three years, two years sooner than if it had been revoked, he said.

“It’s a much harsher penalty to have a license revoked,” Glampe said.

Minneapolis helps ensure that alcohol won’t get into the hands of minors, he said.

Glampe said he can’t remember a store having its liquor license revoked for a citation like this.

An off-sale beer license allows the sale of 3.2 percent beer, but no other alcoholic beverages.

Kinesiology senior Jenna Urbain said she will walk the block to the market to get some bread, garbage bags or sometimes a late-night snack.

“The food they make is good at three in the morning,” she said.

But when she buys beer, she opts for the full-strength stuff, not 3.2 percent.

Urbain would, she said, only in a bind.

“If I missed liquor store hours, but I’d never miss liquor store hours.”

She said she checks IDs every shift she works as a server and knows the things to look for on an ID.

“The features, picture, the birth date, height and weight,” Urbain said.

Mila Ghose, an elementary education senior, said she goes to the store about once or twice a week for a Red Bull or gum.

She said she didn’t realize the market sold beer, but wouldn’t have bought beer there even if she had.

“What’s the point of spending money on 3.2 beer?” Ghose said.