Following the switch from dry to wet in the city of Murray, alcohol specialty stores have grown up seemingly overnight, and continue to have stable business.
Rob and Joey Allen opened Friendly’s Liquor, Wine & Beer on the corner of Sycamore and 4 street, February 5, after a short application process. Applications for liquor stores were submitted to the State during a 30-day time slot for approval, and only seven of the 15 were approved to begin stores.
Rob Allen said business has been going well in the two months Friendly’s has been open, with little difference in profit since the new stores have opened.
Despite the anxiousness of some Murray residents toward the sale of alcohol, Allen said the clientele in the Murray area is very supportive of the business. Friendly’s keeps a steady business of older clients which switches to Murray State students around 6 p.m. each night.
“The town has been very nice to us—they’ve gone out of their way,” Allen said.
Business is going so well for Friendly’s that the Allen brothers decided to build an additional walk-through, refrigerated warehouse at the back of the store. They hope to have it completed by the end of April.
The location of their business, at the intersection of two prominent Murray streets, has played a large role in keeping business coming. Shoppers have the option of drive-through purchases at Friendly’s as well.
The Allen brothers also own and operate two other liquor stores, both located in Grayson County, Ky. Allen said they have been in the business long enough to know how to manage new businesses encroaching on their territory.
These new businesses, like Friendly’s, are looking to take advantage of the change from dry to wet and get into Murray’s newest industry early.
“We’re getting in on the ground floor of this business,” Priyesh Nathu, the proprietor of The Cask Wine & Spirits, said. The Cask had its official opening April 8. Nathu said he hopes business in the store will support the hasty decision he had to make in regards to opening his own store with only the 30-day period to work within.
The Cask is the sixth of the seven approved businesses to open in Murray, with the last to open in just a few days. Nathu said it took a lot of long days to get his business into the condition it is now. He has been logging 18 and 19 hours each day in order to get inventory together and labeled, to put shelving together, and to stock all of the shelves.
Nathu said he wants to make sure the people of Murray like what they walk into his business, and want to come back. The first impression has been everything to Nathu for the past three weeks while he worked to pull it all together.
There were roughly 193 crimes in Murray in 2011, before the new ordinance was put in place. The numbers for 2012 have yet to be released, and 2013 has only just begun. So far however, 2011 seems mild compared to years past.
In order for the new law to evince any claim that liquor in Murray is a risk to personal safety, the crime rate for the 2013 year would have to exceed the crime rate of 256 that 2007 brought.
Story by Amanda Grau, Staff writer.