MCCRACKEN COUNTY, KY -
The owners of a local, small farm winery say they're ready to let you decide their hours of operation. Allen Dossey said, "We can bring it up to a local vote."
McCracken County Commissioners have shot them down twice, but now, the owners of Purple Toad Winery want your vote to extend their hours. This time, they have a new law on their side that would let voters in the Lone Oak One precinct decide whether they can serve wine on Sundays.
Right now, Purple Toad can sell wine and beer Monday through Saturday. Now, they have the option to start a petition for Sunday sales. With enough signatures, they could bring this issue up for a local option election taking county commissioners out of the equation.
County Commissioners did not immediately return calls Tuesday to answer why they voted against the ordinance in the past. Their conversations in closed committee are confidential, and all the records show is that the first vote failed. Purple Toad's owners said they're confident everyone that enjoys their wine and their atmosphere will be willing to sign the petition and vote to have them open seven days a week.
Purple Toad Winery stays pretty busy during the days they're allowed to pour up their local brand of booze. Dossey said the work is well worth it. He grows grapes from the vine and is trying to grow his business, too, by adding another day to the schedule. He said, "When we can have Sunday afternoon sales, that means a lot of the tourism can come in. A lot of people come in for the weekend. They expect you to be open."
Their bottling machine can fill 1,600 of these bottles every hour. Right now, the owner says they use it two to three times a week, but with the addition of Sunday sales, he anticipates using it more often and with more people. Dossey said, "We'd have extra servers for the retail part for Sunday, and then we would have to have maybe three more employees to cover that."
He anticipates more jobs and more money for the community, since more than 60% of their customers are tourists. That's why he said he's willing to put in the work to have Sunday sales. "We are tickled to death."