Commonwealth Journal

Local News

March 23, 2013

High Spirits

Negotiating with ABC is whiskey business, but city officials have nothing to wine about


Somerset —

Bradley said that Friday’s presen-tation has to do with “market inform-ation about Somerset and how the population (of the town) doesn’t dictate the market.” 
State officials went by the size of Somerset — only the city is “wet” instead of the entire county — in deciding how many stores the community could support. City officials are arguing that people from all around Pulaski and surrounding counties use Somerset as a commercial hub, meaning it could support more businesses selling wine and distilled spirits. (An unlimited number of licenses to sell beer in stores is allowed under Kentucky law.)
Girdler was hopeful that the ABC commissioner’s position changing hands to Fred Higdon from Tony Dehner would help the city’s cause. So far, it would seem, so good.
“The people we deal with as far as the questions we have and commun-icating with as far as licenses, they’ve done a really good job in helping us and communicating with us,” said Bradley. “Everything’s gone seamless-ly with the transition.”
The city had decided to hold off awarding their licenses to four of the five licensees picked by the state until after the matter with the state could be resolved, but had decided to move ahead with Wildcat Beer, Wine and Spirits. While Bradley suggested that the time for the others could be coming soon, as of Friday evening, only Wildcat had been granted all of its appropriate licenses.
Daniels said that the store would have a “soft opening” on Wednesday of this coming week, along with a Somerset-Pulaski County Chamber of Commerce ribbon cutting, and a “full-blown” opening on Saturday, March 30.
The store has 3,200 square feet of retail space, and capacity for 7,000 bottles of wine, as well as hundreds of shelves for beer and liquor, said Daniels, who runs robotics technology for Japanese Automotives.
“I think so,” he said when asked if his story would fill a commercial need for Somerset. “Now we have the opportunity to purchase alcohol here instead of going to some other community to buy it. Now we benefit from the tax revenue from it.”

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