Morgan described his feelings about the outcome as “disappointment with the ABC” and said that the local entrepreneurs would be hard-pressed to offer similar wide selection or sales numbers compared to his store.
“I don’t know how you get a license anymore,” said Morgan. “We had a tremendous economic impact plan for the city. Basically, who loses in this is the City of Somerset, because you can’t generate the kind of sales in small stores that you can in a 20,000-square-foot store.”
Added Morgan, “You won’t be able to walk into store and have all the variations of micro-brewed (products).. ... No one has the space for it.”
And it’s not just the liquor. In September, Morgan stated that his business was “in talks” with national restaurant chain Texas Roadhouse to put a location in the shopping center.
Later in the year, it was announced that Texas Roadhouse had struck a deal with developer Brook Ping’s company to locate further down U.S. 27, in the Stonegate Centre. Morgan said simply that the chain had “selected another location,” but added, “We had been talking to other restaurants.”
Said Morgan, “It wasn’t just (Liquor World that was of interest locally), but the purchase of the shopping center and the revitalization of the whole area.”
So why not go with Liquor World? “We were probably penalized because we sued the ABC over Corbin,” said Morgan. “That’s the only reason I can come up with (as to why) they’ve done what they’ve done.”
After being denied a license to open a store in Corbin, which recently went “wet” like Somerset, Morgan filed a lawsuit seeking to invalidate the issuing of the Retail Liquor Package licenses in that community, but it was dismissed in December in Franklin Circuit Court, as the judge said that Morgan lacked standing.