Anoka Social District

The Anoka Social District Pilot Program

The pilot program ENDED on Saturday, October 7, 2023.  The information below is for reference and will be updated soon to reflect the plans for 2024.

________________________________________________________________________________________________

The social district pilot program runs from Wednesday, September 6 through Saturday, October 7, 2023.  Click the links to the right to learn more and scroll down to view the map, events, and more.  Must be 21 - drink responsibly.  

Small Anoka_Social_District_Logo


What is a Social District?  

A "Social District" is a specific area which allows people to purchase and drink beer, wine, or a cocktail from a licensed business and walk through a defined area of the city including public spaces such as a sidewalk or street to allows for participation in a district event/activity.

How was Anoka allowed a Social District?

During the 2022 Minnesota Legislative Session as part of the Omnibus Liquor Bill that was signed into law, a special provision was included only for the City of Anoka, enabling the City to establish a "Social District".  This law is exclusive to the City of Anoka, in the State of Minnesota.   

Anoka worked closely with State Representative Zack Stephenson who assisted with changing state law exclusively for Anoka.

Anoka is hosting a pilot program and will report back to the State on its findings to set an example for Anoka and other cities to implement a social district in the future.  

What does this mean for bars and restaurants in Anoka?

  • Businesses with a liquor license and a social district license can participate along with its patrons within the district's defined boundaries.
  • Businesses participating in the social district can allow its customers to buy and take their alcoholic beverage and consume it in the defined Common Areas such as on the sidewalk, Riverfront Memorial Park, in the street (when blocked off for special events),  or as part of a special event within the social district boundaries.  
  • Licensed businesses will serve alcoholic beverages in a special social district plastic recyclable cup.  The social district logo is included on the cups.  Businesses will mark each cup with their permit number for ID.  In 2024, cups will be identified with the business logo.  

Pilot Program

Wednesday, Sept. 6 - Saturday, Oct. 7, 2023
Hours:  10 a.m. to 10 p.m.  (same hours at outdoor patios)
Sunday - Sunday/7 days a week

Licensed Businesses 

The following businesses have chosen to participate in and are licensed to sell adult beverages during the social district pilot program. Customers (21 and older) may purchase alcoholic beverages from any of the following and then sip and stroll within the district.  Drinks cannot, however, be brought into one business from another business.  

2023 Schedule of Events

  • Wednesday, September 6, 2023  (Kick-off Event)

    Rockin' on the Rum Concert - Bad Behavior 

    Riverfront Memorial Park - 2201 2nd Ave | 6-8 p.m.
    Food trucks on site and Anoka Lions will be selling adult beverages

  • Sunday, September 10, 2023

    Music in the Park - Thomas and James

    Riverfront Memorial Park - 2201 2nd Ave | 3- 4:30 p.m. 
  • Wednesday, September 13, 2023

    Rockin' on the Rum Concert - Southern Express Band 

    Riverfront Memorial Park - 2201 2nd Ave | 6-8 p.m.
    Food trucks on site and Anoka Lions will be selling adult beverages

  • Sunday, September 17, 2023

    Music in the Park - CODA 

    Riverfront Memorial Park - 2201 2nd Ave | 2-3:30 p.m.

  • Wednesday, September 20, 2023 

    Rockin' on the Rum Concert - Best of 7

    Riverfront Memorial Park - 2201 2nd Ave | 5-7 p.m. 
    Food trucks on site and Anoka Lions will be selling adult beverages

  • Sunday, September 24, 2023

    Music in the Park - The Percolators

    Riverfront Memorial Park - 2201 2nd Ave | 3-4:30 p.m. 
  • Wednesday, September 27, 2023 

    Rockin' on the Rum Concert - Salsa del Soul

    Riverfront Memorial Park - 2201 2nd Ave | 5-6:30 p.m. 
    Food trucks on site and Anoka Lions will be selling adult beverages

  • Sunday, October 1, 2023

    Anoka Halloween Great Pumpkin Expo 

    Anoka City Hall River Plaza - 2015 First Ave | 9 a.m. - 5 p.m. 
    Giant pumpkin weigh off, scarecrow contest, adult pumpkin carving, vendors, etc.  

  • Wednesday, October 4, 2023

    Movie in the Park - Top Gun Maverick 

    Riverfront Memorial Park - 2201 2nd Ave | 7 p.m. 

  • Saturday, October 7, 2023 (final day of social district)

    Anoka Vintage Fest

    Anoka City Hall River Plaza - 2015 First Ave | 10 a.m. - 5 p.m. 

Anoka Social District Boundary Map

Social District Map

Window Clings 

Look for these window clings at the entrance of businesses within the social district indicating if they are permitted to sell and if social district beverages are allowed in their store.    

Window Cling Graphic

  • Burgundy Sign (Sold Here):  This is a permitted business that may sell beverages into the social district.  
  • Green Sign (Drinks Welcome):  This is a retailer that allows social district beverages into their business.  
  • Red Sign (No Drinks Permitted): This is a retailer that does NOT allow social district beverages into their business.     

Social District Cup

This is an example of the social district cup.  In 2023, each permitted business that sells a beverage will mark the back of the cup to indicate at which business the cup was sold.  Cups will also include "Be 21 - Drink Social District CupResponsibly".

Each time a customer orders a new drink, they will receive a new cup.  

The cup is a made of recyclable plastic. To help reduce waste, please properly dispose of each cup in the BLUE recycling containers within the social district boundaries. Cups may not leave the social district boundaries.  

  • The public may NOT "bring your own" adult beverage into the social district.  
  • Alcoholic beverages purchased by non-participating businesses may not be brought into the social district.  
  • Alcoholic beverages purchased at a participating business may not be brought into another participating bar or restaurant.  

Signage

Examples of signs that will be displayed throughout the district.  

Signs

This page will be updated with events and additional information as needed.