Another Successful Business Owner Screwed Over by Erroneous Regulations

I’m sure most people read the this story and don’t really think much of it:

One of the most famous faces in the Twin Cities bar scene says he has sold his stake in the four pubs he co-founded: Kieran’s Irish Pub, The Local, Cooper and the Liffey.

Why? Folliard wants to go into the whiskey business full time. Earlier this year, he replaced much of the top-selling Jameson Irish Whiskey at his four pubs with his own brand, 2 Gingers. Now he wants to take his product out into the marketplace by selling it to liquor stores and other bars.

But liquor laws prevent the ownership of both a distillery arm (he imports his brand from Ireland) and a retail outlet (such as a bar). Therefore, he has to leave his pubs behind. He said he anticipates that the move will be scrutinized, but insisted that his exit from the pubs is a “complete severance.” He informed the bars’ staff Tuesday of his departure.

When I read the story the first thought that popped into my mind was the fact there is another successful business owner who was fucked over my erroneous legislation. It’s true, in Minnesota a person can’t own both a distillery and liquor retail outlets. This means if you currently own one type of business your only option to enter the second type is to sell off your stakes in the latter.

There is absolutely no reason a person shouldn’t be able to make their own liquor and sell it at establishments that they also own. Unfortunately for many business owners they’re stuck having to make a decision between what type of business they wish to pursue. I don’t personally know Kieran Folliard but I don’t know the four bars he co-founded have been successful ventures (Kieran’s Irish Pub and The Local are great establishments by the way) meaning he’s a person willing to put a lot of work and effort into making a product people want. Thus I’m sure his new venture will do well but sadly he was forced to throw away all his previous success just to try something new.

Regulations that force a person to abandon previous success just so they can try their hand at something new serve no purpose. Such regulations simply punish those who do well by keeping them from competing in other markets where they do equally well, if not better, than current actors in that market. These regulations are nothing more than anti-competition measures that protect those currently in markets from having to worry about somebody new coming in and offering a better product.