Liquor license not for everyone in Marshall County

It’s been one week since the "yes" vote in Marshall County to legalize the sale of alcohol. The county attorney says the phones are ringing off of the walls from current and prospective businesses interested in obtaining liquor licenses.

That’s not the case for everyone, though. Ronnie King, owner of King Brothers grocery for 49 years, says he likes the way things are.

“We’re not going to sell beer here or any kind of alcoholic beverages. You know, there will be other places people can shop for that,” King said. He mentioned that he isn’t disappointed in the outcome and, although he can see some of the points of the yes supporters, he doesn’t think the step is right for his grocery store.

King said he believes it’s his meat selection that has made his business a success over the decades and will continue to keep people in the doors. And Brenda Sanders agrees.

Sanders has been shopping at King Brothers ever since she moved to Kentucky 10 years ago. She says the meat section is her priority. “It’s very good because, like I said, it’s all done. All you have to do is serve it and fix something else with it,” she added.

Sanders says she didn’t vote in the wet/dry decision because she felt this would happen at many establishments. No change. “I think they need to get with the times. Let's face it: a lot of people from the lake come here and get this meat that are out-of-towners, and why wouldn't they want to get it here instead of going all the way to Paducah?” Sanders said.

She will still go to King Brothers for their reduced priced meat, but will have to make a second stop for beer. That's not a problem when you consider the customer service and warm environment of the store, she said.

Other grocery stores in the area are up in the air as to whether or not to apply for a license. Both Food Giants say they’re unsure. They say they are exploring their options. Wal-Mart says there has been no definite decision yet. Lastly, Price-Less IGA in Benton, Kentucky, is waiting on customer feedback before they fill out a license application.

The county attorney says applications can be in the form of a package license for liquor stores, and there is a cap of 13. Restaurants can opt to sell-by-the-drink if they seat more than 50 people and half their profits are from food consumption. Lastly, an establishment like a grocery store or a convenience store can sell malt beverages and beer if they have at least $5,000 in food inventory. 

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