The Surdyk family has been serving the community of Northeast Minneapolis since 1934. Surdyk’s Liquor has an impressive array of wine, spirits, beer, mix and cigars in the Liquor Store. You can also find the award-winning Cheese Shop, featuring over 350 varieties of cheese, prepared foods to go, and a meticulously curated selection of specialty grocery items from around the world. The store’s superior service from knowledgeable staff keeps customers strolling down the many aisles of this Minneapolis store; truly a food and drink lover’s destination.

joseph surdyk 1934

Joseph Surdyk, grandfather of third-generation owner Jim Surdyk, started the store soon after the end of Prohibition. Joseph figured that selling liquor in addition to groceries, would help bolster the family income. So when the Minneapolis City Council approved the first legal liquor sales on January 26, 1934 he bought his license with $200 of borrowed money. On February 2, 1934, he set up the first Surdyk’s Liquor store at 219 East Hennepin. Surdyk’s was a small corner shop with only three or four employees, just down the street from where it sits today.

When Joseph’s son Bill began working in the store in the early 1940s, it blossomed. Upon his father’s death, Bill Surdyk considered new ways to expand, moving the liquor store to improved facilities at 205 East Hennepin in 1967. Two years later, when fair trade was suspended in 1969, the enterprising Bill foresaw a really big opportunity ahead. He immediately jumped into the discount liquor business, backed up by supermarket merchandising, featuring low prices and great service. Surdyk believed it was the store’s self-service supermarket atmosphere that boosted volume.

In 1979, the store moved to the 300 block of East Hennepin, where it remains today. The new location brought the addition of a specialty cheese shop, provided yet another venue for Surdyk’s to win numerous awards over the years.

In the main store, customers are greeted with rows upon rows of beers and wines. The store’s side and back walls feature a wide-selection of spirits. The center aisles display an extraordinary selection of wines, lit from above by chandeliers made from antique bottle dryers once used in French chateaux that Bill Surdyk purchased from Minneapolis’ Dyckman Hotel. These chandeliers still hang in the store.

Jim Surdyk embraced the wine department rising popularity of wine in the 1980s. He hired experts as wine buyers, added more selection in Spanish, South African and Chilean products, plus his selection of wines from boutique wineries. Surdyk’s also offers a variety of wine education classes. Wine Consultants continue to be a presence in the store to offer their expertise, help with planning of events, or even just point out a favorite bottle for you to try.

The Cheese Shop started as a place to buy a snack to pair with your wine, and over time evolved into a tiny gem of a neighborhood food market with imported meats, a full selection of bakery items, imported olive oils, pastas, chocolate and more.

In 2010, the fourth-generation Surdyk’s expanded for the first time outside of Northeast, with Surdyk’s Flights Wine Market & Bar opening to rave reviews in the Minneapolis-St. Paul Airport. Honoring the same tradition of quality service to customers all over the world, Flights has won major awards including 1st place in the category of Best New Food and Beverage Concept by the Airports Council International in 2011, and The Airport Food & Beverage (FAB) Award for Best Airport Wine Bar in 2014. Surdyk’s Flights opened its second location in Terminal 2 at MSP Airport in 2013 where the concept still operates today.

In 2012, local artist Frank Stone redesigned the building facade you see today.

Over the past ten years, the Surdyk's team has taken their knowledge of how to throw the perfect party and made the natural expansion into full-service Catering.


Surdyk's Catering sources local, sustainably produced, organic ingredients and makes food from scratch in our NE Minneapolis kitchen for events in the Twin Cities each year, including being the exclusive caterer for the University of Minnesota's Northrop Auditorium, as well as operating a small café on the first floor and providing all concessions for performances and special events.

What's Next?

Surdyk’s hired Shea Design to design Sidebar and renovate the Cheese Shop. The 60-seat restaurant will open up to a 34 seat patio on Hennepin Ave. The Cheese Shop will continue to offer its large array of global and local products but will be reoriented with new display cases to open the space.