Commonwealth Journal

Local News

March 26, 2013

Girdler: City likely to get more liquor licenses

Somerset —  

“We’re going to get some additional ones.”
That was the confident declaration of Somerset Mayor Eddie Girdler Tuesday in reference to the subject of liquor stores, and the city’s ongoing fight to be allowed more of them.
Last Friday, Girdler along with other city officials met with members of the Kentucky Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) to convince them to increase Somerset’s number of “quota” licenses from five.
The Retail Liquor Package license that permits one to open a liquor store to sell wine and distilled spirits is considered a “quota” license. The state ABC office allowed five such licenses for Somerset, and decided which five applicants out of a pool of more than three times that many were given them.
Girdler felt like stores with a greater economic impact on the city could have been chosen — like Liquor World, which had planned on making a $5 million investment to revitalize the North Plaza Shopping Center in Somerset — and that based on overall market factors, Somerset could support more than five liquor stores.
Based on the presentation the city made to state alcohol officials last week, Girdler is ready to go ahead and call it a win for his city’s interests.
“The information provided back to us unofficially is that it appears likely that the city will be awarded what they requested,” said Girdler.
It’s not set in stone yet, however. Girdler said he expects the official word to come down on or about April 1.
“There’s one more step that the state ABC has to go through,” he said. “Once a final determination is made or the process completed, then the state will notify the city of the additional package stores.”
The city expects the number of new available licenses to likely be in the range of four to six. That’s in addition to the five stores which have already been granted licenses, and started opening this week.

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