Customers of rural St. Louis County liquor stores will be able to buy their booze and beer on Sundays starting July 2.

The St. Louis County board on Tuesday gave approval to an ordinance change allowing off-sale Sunday liquor sales from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.

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The new ordinance will then take effect immediately, said County Attorney Mark Rubin, allowing rural liquor stores to be open on July 2 for the first time ever. The county ordinance affects areas outside organized municipalities.

According to County Auditor Don Dicklich, there are 64 establishments licensed by the county to sell off-sale alcoholic beverages that can now start selling on Sundays, including Timbuktu Marina in Greenwood Township near Cook, Bimbo's Octagon in Side Lake and the Dawghouse Bar & Grill in Canyon.

Off-sale liquor stores don't have to open on Sundays if they don't want to.

After years of voting the idea down, Minnesota lawmakers in March changed course and approved Sunday liquor sales starting July 2. The law permits cities and counties to allow Sunday sales, but doesn't force them to. Each municipality has to take decide whether to allow it.

Sunday sales will start July 2 in Proctor, Virginia, Hibbing and Hermantown as well.

In Duluth, councilors waited a bit too long to take action, passing an ordinance to allow Sunday sales on June 15, with a 30-day waiting period required before it takes effect, so Sunday sales in the city are delayed until July 16.

Ely is one city that has decided not to adopt Sunday sales at the request of its three liquor store owners.

The county board vote was 6-0 taken at their regular meeting, held this week at the Kabetogama Lake Town Hall.