Franklin Nicollet Liquor Store at Center of Heated Debate

The Southwest Journal has an interesting profile of the effects excessive drinking and chronic alcoholism have on the Steven Square neighborhood. Is the store to blame for the problems? Where should the blame lay:

Coming to a crossroads

In a map of Stevens Square that charted 635 citations for public consumption of alcohol, as well as open bottle and liquor violations in the park in 2005 and 2006, the incidents cluster around the intersection like a bull’s-eye. But some residents would place that bull’s-eye a half-block south, right on top of Franklin Nicollet Liquor Store.

Residents like Shelly Kehr say the liquor store’s sales practices encourage the chronic inebriates that roam the neighborhood to return day after day. Like several others who attended a series of task force meetings on alcohol-related crime, the area block club leader refuses to shop at the store.

“I don’t feel safe there,” Kehr said.

Store manager Dave Hautman, who has participated in the task force meetings, said he refuses service to the “frequent flyers,” as he calls them, and has stopped selling items like single servings of malt liquor. But Hautman argued those changes didn’t get at the heart of the problem.

“Nobody wants to deal with the people,” he said. “They want to deal with this place.”

If the Franklin Nicollet Liquor Store was not at that corner, would there be less drinking in the area? Yes.

Less alcohol related crimes like public urination and littering? Yes.

Less pan handling by chronic inebriates looking for money to spend at the liquor store? Yes.

It’s worth reading the whole article to get City Council Member Robert Lilligren’s take on things. In his opinion, pan handling and drinking related crimes have only become a problem now that the more aggressive drug dealing and violence have been pushed out. So, in a sense, this is a sign of progress.

2 thoughts on “Franklin Nicollet Liquor Store at Center of Heated Debate”

  1. Chicken, meet Mr Egg, Egg, Chicken. Spin the progress, but alcoholism is a 24-7 disease and really has nothing to do with Franklin and Nicollet. Close the liquor store there and the problem moves to the next closest liqour store, spin that the problem is solved at FandN is a joke where no one is laughing. I say we close every liquor store between there and 50th and France and then proclaim it an Edina problem, deal?

  2. the thing with closing the liquor store because of stupid people is not fair for the people who live in the area. why should a resident of the area have to go out of their way because there are a few bums around messing it up for everyone else. I dont think that it would be very fair. the area would be alot nicer if they didnt have a major bus route on the street. that brings in alot of people that do not live in the area loitering on that corner waiting for a bus. alot of the new bussinesses in the area dont allow non customers to use restrooms so it could be any shmoe just needing to go while he waits twenty minutes for the bus. takeing out the liquor store it not gonna solve any problems, its only going to annoy people who live around that area.

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