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Shanghai Bistro owner said city alcohol fees were behind closure

A restaurant once hopping with live music and Asian food lovers said goodbye to its CityWalk location because liquor license fees were too high.

Shanghai Bistro owner Henry Chan said he chose not to renew his liquor license when it expired in April and chose to re-locate to Stillwater.

"One of the biggest reasons we moved: it's $10,000 for liquor licensing," he said. "It's cheaper in downtown Minneapolis."

Chan said he's now paying $2,600 in Stillwater and about $500 in Hudson and Eau Claire, Wis.

"If you compare it, it's ridiculous in the city of Woodbury," he added.

According to city staff, liquor license fees vary depending on the type of sale and service, but an on-sale intoxicating liquor license renewal fee is $10,000 or $2,000 to obtain an on-sale wine and beer license.

But the fees weren't the only reason Shanghai Bistro closed its Woodbury location.

Chan said the space was too small for the concept he was trying to implement with live entertainment and a comfortable atmosphere.

The two Wisconsin locations are triple the size the former Woodbury restaurant was, he added.

Riham Feshir
Riham Feshir is a reporter and photographer for the Woodbury Bulletin. Her coverage includes Woodbury City Hall, Washington County Board of Commissioners and business news.  Follow Riham on Twitter @RihamFeshir for the latest updates.