Story from the Ward 8, e-newsletter of City Councilmember Elizabeth Glidden.

The Minneapolis City Council has approved new rules for some restaurants that sell alcohol outside of the Downtown area. Until now the city’s rules were antiquated and made it difficult for well-run businesses to meet required alcohol-to-food sales ratios, which the current economy does not support.

As Council Member Glidden, an author of the ordinance changes, described, “While neighborhood restaurants are valued spaces to experience great food and community, our laws governing restaurants have not kept up.  These archaic rules, requiring 70 percent food and 30 percent alcohol sales, don’t fit the business model of restaurants today, where craft beer and fine wine purchases will quickly put a restaurant out of compliance with city regulations.  We can do better, with a regulatory model that focuses on ensuring restaurants act like good neighbors.” 

The revised ordinances eliminate requirements that some restaurants in the city sell a certain amount of food, compared to the amount of alcohol they sell. Now, restaurants in commercial corridors that are outside of Downtown are no longer required to make at least 60 percent of their sales in food, and 40 percent or less in alcohol. Though these outdated restrictions are removed, restaurants would still be required to earn a substantial amount of their revenue from non-alcohol purchases. Additionally, the changes create a new set of tools the City can use to take action against establishments that create problems in city neighborhoods. Modernizing the City’s ability for dealing with problem businesses will allow the City to better address problems while making things easier for businesses that are well run. 

The ordinance changes will not change the type of establishment that’s allowed in a particular location. For example, a neighborhood restaurant could not be replaced by a bar (a common question!). The proposed ordinance also defines what a “bar area” is within a restaurant and the amount of bar area an establishment can have. This will make sure that these areas are appropriately scaled for the neighborhood and the size of the establishment. 

70/30 rule still in place, vote in November

The new ordinances do not affect those restaurants that are outside of Downtown and nestled in residential areas (not in commercial corridors). The current requirement, which is found in the City Charter and can only be changed by voters, is that they must make at least 70 percent of their sales in food, and 30 percent or less in alcohol. This November, voters in Minneapolis will vote on a ballot question which, if approved, would remove that food sales threshold for those restaurants. If that happens, the currently-proposed City ordinances would then apply to those restaurants as well. If voters do not approve the ballot measure, those restaurants will still be required by the City Charter to meet the 70/30 sales ratio. 

For more information and to see the ordinances and frequently asked questions visit the City’s business licensing web page.

Read it here, if yours hasn’t arrived in your mailbox yet, or follow this link:


The KFNA Board has voted to support the Charter Amendment language change detailed in the attachment below, siding in favor of a restaurant’s liquor licensing being regulated by City Ordinance, as opposed to Charter. There is to be a Public Hearing (notice below) to decide whether the proposed amendment should be put on the 2014 ballot. As stated in the final paragraph of this notice below, “The Charter Commission has not yet determined whether to put this question on the 2014 ballot and is seeking input from the public before making that decision. Public hearing testimony can be submitted by email (addressed to the Charter Commission and sent to Written comments must be submitted by 5 pm on Tuesday, June 3. Testimony can also be submitted orally at the hearing on June 4.”  

KFNA encourages citizens to submit your comments in writing or in person on this issue.

70-30 Charter Language Read more

The Influence of Art in our Social, Physical, and Economic Future: Creative Placemaking in Minneapolis

Friday, May 30, 12-1pm
Butter Bakery Café, 3700 Nicollet

In 2013, three Minneapolis organizations received ArtPlace grants to support their work in connecting community and art.  Pillsbury House + Theater featured 20 projects in one year by local artists on Chicago Avenue.  Intermedia Arts and the City of Minneapolis partnered to embed artists in the city’s planning and development project process.  And the Native American Community Development Institute (NACDI) worked to improve a light rail station as the front door to the Native American Cultural Corridor.  

We welcome Noel Raymond of Pillsbury House + Theater, Theresa Sweetland of Intermedia Arts, and Jay Bad Heart Bull and Andy Hestness of NACDI, to talk about the impact of ArtPlace grants and the planned projects.  What has been the impact of the ArtPlace grant?  How, if at all, have these organizations changed their approach to connecting arts and community?  What work is left undone?

Please join us for a great discussion of the intersection of arts and community!  Arrive early, grab some lunch or a treat, and settle in for an exciting program that will begin promptly at 12 noon.

Friday, March 21 
Noon-1 pm (arrive at 11:30 – get lunch and meet your neighbors!) 

Butter Bakery Cafe, 3700 Nicollet

Please join us on Friday, March 21, for Lunchtime with Elizabeth.  We are excited to welcome representatives from the Center for Earth, Energy and Democracy to discuss their work on Race, Climate, and Community Health. 

Executive Director Shalini Gupta and Dr. Cecilia Martinez will present their newly developed Environmental Justice Mapping Tool.  This tool, as described at, provides visual comparisons of environmental risks across communities based on race and income and health sensitive populations. The Environmental Justice tool can be used by communities to understand their environmental risks, organize for clean air, land, and water, address environmental health disparities, and build climate resilient neighborhoods. 

We will also discuss proposed policy recommendations, such as “Green Zones” and other actions to eliminate racial disparities posed in part by environmental risks.  Green Zones, supported by the City of Minneapolis Community Environmental Advisory Committee (CEAC), have been utilized in other cities and states and are a recommended policy initiative of the Minneapolis Climate Action Plan.

Minneapolis’ Vision and Strategic Goals – Setting the Course for Our Future: 
A Special Event for Ward 8 and Ward 11 community members 

Friday, February 28, 7:30-9am
, Turtle Bread, 4762 Chicago Ave S

Following the 2013 elections, the Minneapolis City Council and Mayor are setting our City’s Vision and Strategic Goals, a document that will guide budget, program, and policy direction and development for the next four years.

You can view the DRAFT Vision and Goals at Online Public Comment: This draft is posted for public comment which will be open from February 19th thru March 14th. Written comments are encouraged and can be submitted to  The Council will host a public hearing regarding the goals on March 5, at its Committee of the Whole, 10 am, at City Hall Council Chambers and will adopt final goals at its meeting March 26. 

 Read more

Some of you might ask, why should I give money to my neighborhood, they are all the same aren’t they? 

I want to assure you that all neighborhoods are not created equal.  Kingfield is special in part because KFNA has worked really hard for the last 20 years to engage amazing neighbors in their very own neighborhood.  The goal of doing this is to assist these residents in developing and sharing their own special talents and skills to solve both smaller, neighborhood-level concerns but also to pilot programs and projects that can be duplicated across the City. KFNA has helped develop programs and leaders in the areas of urban agriculture including farmers markets and community gardens, alternative energy including solar and geo-thermal education and installation, public art including tried and true methods to deter graffiti and build identity using exterior business murals and wrapped utility boxes, and much more including programs and projects focused on store-front development, street usage and traffic calming, recycling, race-based discussions and building connections to other neighborhoods and communities, and affordable housing.

KFNA uses your donations to support these programs and more.  Although KFNA is fortunate to receive some support from the City of Minneapolis for the outreach and long-range planning we do in the neighborhood, the City only provides about $50,000 annually, which is less than 50% of KFNA’s annual operating budget.  To continue to do all the work we do in Kingfield Neighborhood, we need your financial support as well.  Donations can be made here:, where you can also read about all the fabulous prizes available to donors from KFNA’s amazing volunteer board members!


Sarah Linnes-Robinson,

KFNA’s Executive Director


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