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City of Bemidji Liquor Stores

The mission of Bemidji's Municipal Liquor Stores (Lakeview and First City) are to offer the best possible variety of products at a competitive price and to conduct the business of selling alcoholic beverages in a manner that best supports the values of our community.

Please note that no tax dollars are used to support the Liquor Stores. All expenses are paid with Liquor Store revenues and some profits are transferred to the City General Fund.

Bemidji, along with nearly 200 other cities, chose to operate municipal liquor stores. This choice not only allows for greater control over liquor being sold and consumed in the City, but also further diversifies the City's revenue sources. 

First City & Lakeview Liquor generate nearly

Revenues generated are used to: 
Reduce property taxes and support community programs – such as roads, parks and trails, as well as necessary services for our police and fire departments.

$500,000 in profits annually


History of Municipal Liquor Operations

Municipal liquor stores have been in operation since the United States government repealed prohibition in 1933, giving individual states the responsibility and authority to regulate liquor sales. At that time, the Minnesota legislature gave cities the option of issuing liquor licenses to private businesses or providing municipal alcohol dispensing services.

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact us at:

First City Liquor

(218) 751-8868

Lakeview Liquor

(218) 751-3911


Frequently Asked Questions

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