It’s good to be the first.
On Monday morning, the owners of Apple’s Wine & Spirits expect to be the first to open a liquor store here in Somerset since the days of Prohibition eight decades ago.
Though Wildcat Beer, Wine and Spirits were the first to receive their necessary license from the City of Somerset on Thursday, that store’s owner, Chris Daniels, doesn’t expect to open fully until late this coming week.
Wanda Johnson, owner of Apple’s, is eager to start business on Monday, however.
“We were anxious,” said Johnson, an employee of the Pulaski County School District. “We’d been working so hard to get (the store) ready and were anxious as to when to anticipate the start date. We were ready to go when we got the green light, so we decided to go ahead and open on Monday.”
On Friday, Somerset Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) Administrator Nick Bradley told the Commonwealth Journal that he couldn’t say for sure when the other four stores that had been approved by the Kentucky ABC office to receive Retail Liquor Package licenses would be awarded the necessary permits by the city — it could be that day, it could be next week. That was in the evening, around 6 p.m.
It wasn’t long after that hour, however, that Johnson was notified by Bradley that the city was ready to issue Apple’s a liquor license, she said.
Johnson expects the city to deliver it Monday morning. As soon as that happens, the store will be ready to sell its products.
In order to operate, a liquor store must receive licenses from both the Kentucky Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control and the city’s own ABC administrator.
However, the City of Somerset has been locked in a conflict with the state regarding the number of licenses that Kentucky officials chose to allow the city. Retail Liquor Package licenses — essentially, those for liquor stores that sell wine and distilled spirits — are what’s known as “quota” licenses, meaning there’s a limited number of them available. (Stores that sell beer and malt beverage products only have been open in Somerset since September and are not considered “quota” license retailers.)