Providing ‘a place to go’

Published 10:00 pm Tuesday, December 25, 2018

Clarks Grove bar owner says Sunday liquor sales going well

CLARKS GROVE — The Pour House Bar & Grill is now open Sundays after city residents voted last month to allow on- and off-site liquor sales on Sundays.

The first Sunday the bar and grill opened was Dec. 2, said owner Bruce Nielsen.

He said sales have “gone very well.”

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“People like having us here, apparently,” he said. “It’s a good bar. It’s good food. Never had any trouble, ever, for four years I’ve been here. I think it’s a very (respectable) business, and people like coming here. The locals are a good support. We’ve got quite a few from all over the place, actually, that come and support the place.”

Off-site liquor sales are from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sundays.

The measure to allow Sunday sales passed overwhelmingly Nov. 6. Nearly 70.4 percent of voters — 214 votes — approved the measure, with 29.61 percent — 90 votes — saying no.

The referendum came after the Minnesota Legislature voted to approve Sunday liquor sales in 2017.

Nielsen noted Sunday sales has drawn positive reviews on the bar’s Facebook page. He expects the establishment to be used by motorcycle riders and other people this summer whose only free day of the week is Sunday.

Nielsen said they worked to allow Sunday sales for a couple years, adding patrons used to tell him they wanted The Pour House to be open Sundays because it was the only day they were able to do something.

The bar and grill has had four new TVs installed within the last month.

“It’s been fun,” Nielsen said. “It really has been.”   

Nielsen noted the length of his work day Sunday.

“I was here early and left, probably 11:30 last night,” he said.

“They were so happy that there was a place to go that they could sit down and just talk and have fun. And everybody that comes in here on Sundays, they are coming in here because they are happy that it’s open.”

Nielsen speculated on who disapproved of Sunday liquor sales.

“I’m guessing it’s probably the older generation that thinks that it shouldn’t be open on Sunday-type,” he said. “But it’s not a rowdy bar. It’s a bar and grill. It’s a place where people meet and have food and drink.”

He noted he would have been disappointed with any opposition to the proposal because of the bar’s positive atmosphere.

“We have the right clientele coming in here,” he said.

“That’s what I love about this bar. It’s a down-to-earth, friendly atmosphere, and I love it.”

About Sam Wilmes

Sam Wilmes covers crime, courts and government for the Albert Lea Tribune.

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