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Top Ten Liquors makes its debut in Dinkytown

Dinkytown’s first liquor store in two years opened on Sept. 28 and is ready to serve the community.
Image by Alexandra DeYoe
Shelves are filled inside Dinkytown’s newly-opened Top Ten Liquors.

After two years without a liquor store in Dinkytown, Top Ten Liquors recently opened for business in the neighborhood.  

Top Ten sits at the corner of Fifth Street and 15th Avenue in the heart of Dinkytown. Inside the  warehouse-style store, shelves held a variety of drinks to offer customers, from Fireball to Rosé, to Pink Whitney and different kinds of THC seltzers and boxed wines. 

Top Ten Liquor’s assistant manager Kylon Winbush said being in such a good location and having reasonable prices means they can effectively cater to local students. 

“In a safe manner, we want to provide for the college campus and be here for the community,” Winbush said.

Winbush stressed the importance of having a liquor store in Dinkytown, especially considering the neighborhood had been missing one since 2021. According to Winbush, Top Ten’s main goal is growing and learning with the community to better serve their customers, such as offering discounts on different products.  

University of Minnesota student and Dinkytown resident Julia Waller said before Top Ten’s opening, finding alcohol in the neighborhood was difficult.  

It’s convenient,” Waller said. “I live, like, three blocks away, so I can just walk down here.” 

University students and first-time Top Ten shoppers Maeve Erin and Emma Reid said their first impressions were positive. Both Erin and Reid said Top Ten’s lower prices compared to other more expensive stores makes Top Ten a go-to place for liquor. 

“We would usually go off-campus somewhere because all the other ones on-campus are way too expensive,” Reid said. 

Former owner of Dinkytown Wine & Spirits Irv Hershkovitz said Top Ten is in a great area because University students living in Dinkytown will not have to go elsewhere for alcohol.

Hershkovitz’s business was a staple on campus for 30 years until its closing in Jan. 2021. Hershkovitz added he helped Top Ten liquors sign a lease with CA Ventures, a real estate investment management company. 

“They will do well down there,” Hershkovitz said. “Students had to go somewhere much farther away for two-and-a-half years after we closed.”

“They wanted me to stay in the new building, which I didn’t want to,” Hershkovitz said. “I obviously wanted to retire.”

The most significant issue for local liquor stores is fake IDs, which have become more prevalent in recent years, according to Hershkovitz. Dinkytown Wine & Spirits trained employees to spot fake IDs along with ID scanners, both of which Top Ten has, Hershkovitz said. 

“Once you get that reputation, everyone [underage] hears that and knows: don’t go there,” Hershkovitz said, referring to checking IDs.

Hershkovitz was a great business and community partner, according to President of the Dinkytown Business Alliance and Dinkytown Raising Cane’s owner Kent Kramp. Kramp said he hopes Top Ten will continue the trend Hershkovitz started by connecting with students near campus and being involved in the community. 

Kramp stressed the importance of having new businesses in the area not only to fill vacant spaces, but to provide desired services in the community and maintain good business practices like checking IDs and inventory control. 

“It’s a local corporation that should do a really good job there and make sure that [the business] lasts,” Kramp said. “I have a lot of faith that they’re going to be really good partners in the community.”

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