Packaged liquor is set to hit local shelves in the coming weeks.
After much deliberation on July 17, the residents of Murray voted to make the city wet and allow packaged alcohol sales. On Oct. 22, the first transactions of packaged beer were made in the city and now liquor may be available for sale as early as today in two stores.
City Alcohol Beverage Control Administrator Kendra Clere said there is a possibility of liquor being in stock, by today, in the Rite Aid at 12th and Main streets and Friendly Liquors at 4th and Sycamore streets.
“The rest (of the liquor) won’t be here until later,” Clere said, “maybe the first of March.”
No stores are being built, but renovations are taking place in several locations before they will be open to sell packaged liquor.
The licenses were issued earlier in the week and they all expire on March 31.
“You can buy a license either by half year or full year,” Clere said. “They all expire March 31, 2013 and must be renewed no matter when they are activated.”
Locations that have received state licenses will still have to meet codes and city approval before they can start selling.
Now, six months from the initial vote, the following list of establishments have been issued retail liquor package licenses by the state: All In Good Spirits at 1203 Chestnut St.; The Cask Wine & Spirits at 1304 South 12th St.; Rite Aid Pharmacy at 1200 Main St.; L & C Package Liquors & Boulders Smokehouse Deli & Catering at 317 Chestnut St.; Friendly Liquor Wine & Beer at 401 Sycamore St.; Thoroughbred Spirits at 521 South 12th St. and Cellar Door Wine & Spirits at 1310 N. 12th St.
Greg Poteete, store manager of Westwood Wines and Liquors in Paris, Tenn., said he thinks his store will feel some impact from liquor now being in Murray.
“With having the largest selection of spirits, craft beers and fine wine in the area, coupled with our low prices and great customer service, I feel it will be minimal,” Poteete said. “We value the students and other customers from western Kentucky that make the drive south and look forward to seeing them in our store again soon.”
Two of the seven liquor licenses issued are for existing businesses. While Rite Aid will sell packaged liquor, Boulder’s is planning to change its business model from a dine-in restaurant to a catering business in the near future.
Destiny Walls, freshman from Princeton, Ky., said she is against alcohol.
“I think it is bad for the body,” Walls said. “People always drink way more than they should.”
Walls said even with the revenue coming into the city, she thinks it is going to make the community worse because of the effects it can have on a person.
Out of the seven establishments selling packaged liquor, two are in walking distance of campus.
Michael Griffin, senior from Madisonville, Ky., said having packed liquor in Murray means no more trips south to Paris, Tenn.
“This will help me save a ton of money on gas since I can literally walk to the liquor store rather than drive for 45 minutes,” Griffin said. “I think this will really help the city in creating funds and keeping money in Murray.”
Story by Meghann Anderson, News Editor.