Pending approval from the state, Fareway Stores Inc. will take over Duff’s Faribo Liquor in Faribault.

The process began in March when Fareway contacted Deputy City Clerk Carole Dillerud looking to obtain a liquor license. At that time, the city didn’t have any to give out because the city can only distribute a certain number of the licenses.

Between then and now, Fareway got in contact with Duff’s and learned Duff Hartman was looking to sell.

After coming to terms with Duff’s, Fareway submitted a request for a new off sale liquor license for 114 Fourth St. NW, which currently houses Duff’s. The license was brought before the Faribault City Council Tuesday, where the council approved the resolution.

Despite it being identified as a new license at the state level, Mayor John Jasinski said locally, it would be called a transfer.

“Technically through the state, it’s a new license,” Dillerud said.

But because Duff’s license ends Dec. 31 and Fareway’s license begins Jan. 1, Jasinski said they would refer to it as a transfer, as the number of licenses in the city will remain the same.

Duff Hartman, Duff’s Faribo Liquor owner, said he hasn’t renewed his license or insurance, and come December, he will be done.

Dillerud said the city attorney has reviewed all of the documents and the Faribault Police Department conducted a background investigation and approved the issuance of the license.

According to the Faribault City Council staff report, the current Faribault Fareway store manager John Pentecost will be the on-site manager for the liquor store.

Garrett Piklapp, secretary/general counsel with Fareway Stores Inc., said beyond that a lot of the operations haven’t been further discussed as the process still has to go through the state.

They do know the changes will be “minor,” however.

“We don’t anticipate any interior changes,” Piklapp said.

But the Duff’s location may not be permanent.

“They’re just going to do some short-term renting to see where they want to go (with it),” Duff said.

Piklapp elaborated on that point at the council meeting. With a 43,000-square-foot store just down the road, they will look at other possibilities within their current space for customer convenience.

“If the appropriate approvals (go through), we will look to see if our existing space could house a liquor store,” Piklapp said. “(But) that’s not the immediate plan.”

The off sale liquor license will now be mailed to the Minnesota Department of Public Safety’s Alcohol and Gambling Enforcement Division for approval. The effective licensing period will begin on Jan. 1 and run to the end of the year.

At this point, the name of the liquor store hasn’t been announced, but Piklapp did say they are hoping to open the store by Jan. 5.

“We want to get in there and start doing business,” Piklapp said.

Brad Phenow covers Rice County government, townships and arts & entertainment. Reach him in Faribault at 333-3135 and in Northfield at 645-1122.

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