GLASGOW – Two years after the countywide expansion of alcohol sales kicked off with a purchase of packaged beer at Haywood Country Store, Barren Countians have plenty of choices for buying beer and other malt beverages, including wine coolers, without traveling past the county line.
The county is still, however, a long way from its legal quota of 18 stores that sell packaged liquor, and if if it still had a quota on establishments that could sell liquor by the drink, i.e. bars, it would be even further from it.
At the time the county went wet through a local-option election, Barren County had a quota of 17 bars; however, between changes in state administrative regulations and state legislation, no quota for those exists anymore.
As of Thursday, Glasgow had six retail package liquor stores, Cave City had two and the rest of Barren County had three with active licenses. Each of those jurisdictions had one licensed business with a license to sell wine and other spirits by the drink that were considered part of the bar quota.
Restaurants with a certain amount seating and sales from food and that meet other criteria, for example, were not part of the quota, even if they have a separate bar area, nor is a private club, like Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 5906 along North Jackson Highway. A few other types of licenses that permit liquor by the drink also were not part of the quota.
In Glasgow, though, a couple of bar licenses are pending approval. One is for Bush's Saloon & Dance Hall, which has been in the works for several months and still is, according to Brandon Kerney, the alcoholic beverage control administrator for Glasgow, but the other is a new applicant.
Co-owners David Brown and Casey Emmitt are looking to open The Spot on Main at 100B Indian Hills Drive, the former location of Jitter Beans Gourmet Coffee & Cafe.
The application(s) for the licenses they seek were received by the city Jan. 2, Kerney said. If no obstacles arise, that new business could be good to go by around mid-February, and that's Brown's target date, he said.
The Spot on Main at West Main Street and Indian Hills Drive is intended to be a full bar — selling malt beverages, wine and liquor by the drink — and will have a few food items as well. The duo also plan to sell packaged malt beverages, such as beer and wine coolers, on a carry-out basis.
Brown, Emmitt and a few others were at The Spot location Thursday afternoon doing a little work, but the wooden bars with metallic accents are in place, as are a few tall tables and chairs, and a television mounted on the wall above an area they intend to be reserved for dancing and/or musicians was tuned to a country music channel. Strategically placed purple string lights lend a glow to the room when the lights are switched off. A digital sign scrolled lettering that spelled “Welcome to The Spot on Main.”
Brown said he thinks the opportunity to have such establishments brings more growth to Glasgow.
“There's only one here, so we'll be the second one. I just think anything like this is good for Glasgow. I really do,” Brown said. “Somebody's got somewhere to go sit down and have a cold beer after work before going home.”
He said they intend “to run a good establishment, keep everything clean. We don't want a bunch of people drunk and falling down. And we are going to have food, too. So we'll have lunch, but it'll be a small lunch – soup, sandwiches, that sort of thing.”
“Come on out and we'll treat everybody friendly, and we hope to have the best prices and the coldest beer in town,” Brown said.
Kerney said he has approved the local license for Walmart's standalone liquor store constructed in its parking lot, but he believed it was still awaiting a final state approval on something, not necessarily related to the alcohol aspect, so that one is still considered pending and not yet part of the quota number.