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4 a.m. closings on tap for some Minn. bars during Super Bowl

Bars in Moorhead such as Vic's Bar & Grill will not be staying open until 4 a.m. on Super Bowl Sunday since the Vikings failed again in their quest to reach the title game. David Samson / Forum News Service

MOORHEAD — Super Bowl spectators and visitors can linger at Twin Cities bars a little later than usual next weekend.

Twin Cities hotspots including First Avenue, the Loon Cafe, Pizza Luce and Town Hall Brewery will stay open as late as 4 a.m. for four nights.

Licensing jurisdictions that issue on-sale intoxicating liquor licenses under state statutes have, at their discretion, the ability to issue special permits that allow bars to stay open two hours later than normal from Friday, Feb. 2, to Monday, Feb. 5, if they chose to apply. The permits will expire immediately after Monday.

The law only applies in cities that have adopted the special four-day late closing hours—and that list doesn't include Moorhead or other communities outside of the Twin Cities. So far, only Bloomington, St. Paul and Minneapolis have made the move to allow watering holes to stay open late.

Many Clay County bar owners said they may have been more adamant about it if the Vikings were in the Super Bowl. Detroit Lakes, Dilworth and Moorhead have all decided to pass because of the Vikings loss, public safety concerns or lack of reasonable cause.

"I wasn't aware of the law, but I would be interested if it was possible for us," said Jerry Komroski, owner of Vic's Bar & Grill in Moorhead.

Moorhead City Clerk Michelle French said city officials "briefly" discussed the option, "but we're so far north that we decided it wasn't necessary and didn't want to pursue it further."

The Minneapolis City Council approved the extension for that community while preparing for the estimated 1 million visitors who will come to the Twin Cities for the Super Bowl, according to the Minnesota Department of Public Safety.

"Federal, state and local partners have worked hard to ensure this will be a safe event, but it's everyone's responsibility to be vigilant and mindful of personal choices that could affect your decision-making," said DPS Commissioner Mona Dohman.

The DPS has also warned that law enforcement will be watching for sex trafficking, opioid sales and usage, underage drinking, drunk driving and general carelessness over the weekend.