A look back.....

The Surdyk family has been serving the community of Northeast Minneapolis since 1934. Today, their flagship store on the corner of East Hennepin and University Avenues offers an unrivaled selection of wine, spirits, beer, mix and cigars in the Liquor Store, the award-winning Cheese Shop, and Sidebar at Surdyk’s neighborhood bar and restaurant. The store’s superior service from knowledgeable staff keeps customers strolling down the many aisles of this Minneapolis store which is truly a food and drink lover’s destination. 

joseph surdyk 1934

Humble Beginnings

Joseph 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. 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 Avenue. 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 a few doors down to 205 East Hennepin in 1967. Two years later, when fair trade was suspended in 1969, the enterprising Bill foresaw a big opportunity ahead. He immediately jumped into the discount liquor business, backed up by supermarket merchandising, featuring low prices and great service.

A Big Move

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

The expanded footprint allowed for an unprecedented selection of beers, wines, and a wide selection of spirits. Accented 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 today. 


3rd generation owner, Jim Surdyk embraced the rising popularity of premium wine in the 1980s. He hired experts as wine buyers and store consultants and added wines from every wine region in the world.  

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

In 2010, with the fourth generation of Surdyk’s involved in operations, the brand expanded for the first time outside of Northeast. Surdyk’s Flights & Wine bar opened to rave reviews in the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport. During Surdyk’s ownership, Flights 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.  


Great Tastes For All

In 2012, the Surdyk's team took their knowledge of how to throw the perfect party and made the natural expansion into Catering. Offering everything from party platters, corporate lunches, boards, and buffets, to full-service event catering and bartending. 


Surdyk's Catering sources local, sustainably produced, organic ingredients and makes food from scratch in our NE Minneapolis kitchen for events throughout the Twin Cities each year. 

Looking into the Future

The next expansion came in 2020, when Surdyk’s Cheese Shop underwent a remodel which included the opening of Sidebar at Surdyk’s, a modern bar and restaurant tucked behind Surdyk’s Liquor Store & Cheese Shop. The 60-seat restaurant opens to a 34-seat patio on Hennepin Avenue. The Cheese Shop continues to be a gourmet destination offering its large array of global and local products, house-made dips, pickles, soups, sandwiches, and entrees, along with their incredible selection of cheese from around the world.  

90 Years in the Making

In 2024, now in the 4th generation of family ownership, Surdyk’s celebrates 90 years of business in Northeast Minneapolis! With a complete remodel of the Liquor Store that allows for 7 tasting spaces, expanded wine and spirit sections, a walk-in beer cave, and a full-service order department, Surdyk’s Liquor Store & Cheese Shop, along with Sidebar at Surdyk’s, and Surdyk’s Catering is poised to bring the Twin Cities the best selection, expertise, and pricing for all your entertaining needs for many more years to come.  

4th generation owners, Taylor, Molly, and Melissa Surdyk  
(along with the 5th generation of Surdyks!)