Commonwealth Journal

News Live

February 25, 2013

City appears to be on its way to alcohol license deal with state


Somerset —

The city  also filed a complaint in Pulaski Circuit Court against the state ABC and Tony Dehner in his official capacity as acting commission and distilled spirits administrator, arguing against the quota of five licenses set by the state.
Girdler has said that he’d ideally like to see between two to four more applicants be given liquor licenses, as the Somerset regional economy could likely support more than five such retailers.
As for the current state of the legal action taken by the city — though the first preference was to work out an agreement with the state directly rather than go through the courts, Girdler declined to comment.
All Girdler would add is that “with the cooperation of the ABC and their new commission that we will be able to work out an acceptable arrangement with both parties within a very short period of time, probably the next 30 days.”
He also said that the city has “been encouraging all applicants to bear with us as we go through this process” and that “we have to work through this process to be fair to all parties.”
The city declined to issue its ABC licenses to those the state approved until the issue could be resolved, with one exception — Wildcat Beer, Wine and Spirits. Girdler said that they more closely met the standards that the city was looking for in terms of economic impact.
The Commonwealth Journal tried to contact the owners unsuccessfully on Monday, but the business does have a website,, and a Facebook page. The website actually has a countdown clock measuring the time until the store opens; on Monday, it was at 34 days.
Wanda Johnson, owner of Apple’s Wine and Spirits, said that until the city issues their licenses, the state will not hand the business one either. Yet the store’s owners are preparing to open with the mindset that they have a license awaiting them soon.

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