First new package liquor license issued in Barren County

February 8, 2017
Barren County, KY

By Melina J. Overstreet | [email protected]

GLASGOW – All of the first 11 businesses since the Sept. 27 vote for legal countywide alcohol sales that applied to sell package liquor in Barren County are expected to get their licenses once they meet the final inspection and other requirements, according to notices local alcoholic beverage administrators received from state ABC officials Wednesday.

Nine of those were within the city of Glasgow, but only one, Rite Aid No. 4006 on Happy Valley Road at U.S. 31-E in Glasgow, had its space completely ready to go and had its actual licenses issued from both the Kentucky Department for Alcoholic Beverage Control and the City of Glasgow on Wednesday, said city ABC administrator Brandon Kerney.

The others are in various stages of renovations or construction, so the letters they were sent from Kentucky ABC said things like their application is approved, but the license won't be issued until a completed field report and final inspections are received or that if they don't have all their construction finished by May 31, they will have to submit a written explanation with anticipated completion date to apply for an extension, Kerney said.

In all cases, the business receiving a license cannot transfer it to another person or business for at least three years and would have to relinquish it if the business fails or elects to stop selling liquor, for example. If they had an email address listed on their application and have checked that Wednesday, he said, they should have received a message from the state ABC office already and be aware of the initial approval; otherwise they'll learn when they receive the notice in postal mail.

Kerney said he sent out his own letter Wednesday advising applicants that when their spaces are ready, they need to make appointments for their final local building and fire inspections.

With Rite Aid, Kerney said, “it's just a matter of them getting their inventory in.” He said he had spoken with a corporate representative who told him the hope was to have it there within a week.

Kerney said he thought two others, both owned by parent company Glasgow Liquors, were probably relatively close to being ready. One store, at 105 Park Ave., has the same name as the parent, and the other is Glasgow Wine & Spirits at Ford Centre, 199 N. L. Rogers Wells Blvd.

Several are making significant renovations, and some of those were waiting to see whether they got the license before investing the money for the actual work, he said. One store, Fire Pit Spirits, 1100 Happy Valley Road, is being built from scratch.

The other applicants in the city are Jolita's Liquors, 618 Columbia Ave.; Columbia Liquor Store, 103 Park Ave., DV's Liquors, 1621 Cleveland Ave.; Stallion Liquor & Wine, 102 Cherry St.; and Walmart No. 771, 2345 Happy Valley Road, Suite A.

Another business, Triple Star, has applied to sell package liquor in the city, that that application came just a few days ago, so the 30-day period that has to be allowed for a letter of protest to be filed before the state considers it hasn't even passed yet.

Only two of the three businesses that advertised intent to apply for package liquor licenses in the unincorporated portions of the county in the initial round actually submitted applications, and they were also included in this round of initial approvals, said Sherry Jones, fiscal court clerk. Both of their letters give them the May 31 deadline that some of the in-city stores got, she said.

Those two are Barren River Beverages, 1668 Burkesville Road, and Lake Way Liquor, Building 1, 4363 Scottsville Road.

Another business in the Hiseville area more recently advertised intent to apply, but it hasn't yet, Jones said.

Based on its population, Barren County as a whole is allowed to have no more than 18 retail package liquor licenses, and two were already in operation in Cave City, where it's been legal since 2014.

All of the businesses that applied for licenses to sell package liquor – sometimes worded as “distilled spirits and wine” – also were applying to sell package malt beverages, but there is no quota or limit for the number of stores selling the latter, and several locations are selling or plan to sell only package malt beverages – primarily beer but also wine coolers and similar beverages.

Restaurants of a certain size and meeting other requirements have been able to sell liquor, along with malt beverages, by the drink, for a few years now in Cave City and Glasgow, but now the county also is allowed a quota of 17 establishments that sell by the drink without meeting those restaurant requirements.

Only one business has applied for one of those quota licenses: The Cavern in downtown Cave City.

Jennifer Freeman, that city's ABC administrator, said she has not received any notice from the state on the status of that application, but through her conversations with the owner, Tim Brown, and sometimes conversations on speaker with him in her office and a state ABC official on the phone, it is her understanding that his applications for liquor and malt beverages by the drink had needed some minor revisions or additional pieces of information but were on course to be approved soon. She said Brown is hoping to be open for business by around Valentine's Day.

Brown has told the Glasgow Daily Times he intends to give his establishment – a cafe in one of its past lives – a neighborhood pub atmosphere.

Two other places in the unincorporated portions of the county have advertised intent to apply for licenses to have alcohol by the drink, but they fall into other categories without a quota. One is Barren River Lake State Resort Park and the other is the Edwin P. Barlow Post No. 5906 Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States, doing business as VFW Post No. 5906.