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SURDYK’S HISTORY: A Minneapolis Institution

The Surdyk family has been serving the community of Northeast Minneapolis since 1934.


Surdyk’s Liquor has an impressive array of wine, spirits, beer, 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, 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. When the Minneapolis City Council approved the first legal liquor sales on January 26th, 1934, Joseph bought his license with $200 of borrowed money. On February 2nd, 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. In 1979, with the help of 3rd-generation owner, Jim Surdyk, the store moved to the 300 block of East Hennepin, where it remains today. The new location brought the addition of the Twin Cities’ first specialty cheese shop, providing yet another venue for Surdyk’s to win numerous awards over the years. The Cheese Shop started as a place to buy a bite of cheese 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 & vinegars, pastas and artisan pantry staples, chocolates, from-scratch prepared soups, salads & sandwiches, and (much) more.


Jim Surdyk embraced the rising popularity of wine in the 1980s. He hired experts as Wine Consultants and grew the store's selection of Spanish, South African, Austrian, German, and South American products. The level of passion and expertise of Surdyk's customer service continues to set it apart from other retailers. Wine, Beer & Spirits Consultants are a constant presence in the store, offering their expertise, musings on all things libation-related, event-planning tips, and recommendations of what to pair with tonight's dinner. 


In 2010, the fourth-generation Surdyks 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 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. In 2020, the fourth-generation Surdyks opened Sidebar, a neighborhood bar and eatery in the back corner of Surdyk’s flagship store at 303 East Hennepin.


Over the past decade, the Surdyk’s team has taken their party-planning expertise and made the natural expansion into full-service catering. We've been in the business of fine food since 1979, when our Cheese Shop opened its doors. Surdyk's Catering was born out of that tiny corner spot in our flagship store. Our operations have grown considerably since those early days, and we're proud to say that we now offer drop-off catering services six days a week and cater dozens of full-service events in venues across the Twin Cities each year. 

At Surdyk's Catering we believe that at the end of the day, it's all about the food. We source the best local, sustainably produced, organic ingredients available, and everything we serve is made from scratch in our kitchen. Inspired by our travels, the changing seasons, and our insatiable love of food, our culinary team is constantly in the process of crafting our next favorite menu item. We look forward to sharing our passion and expertise with you.

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