Corinth moving toward implementing liquor law

By Lena Mitchell/NEMS Daily Journal

CORINTH – Eager as businesses may be to begin legal wine and liquor sales in Corinth, the steps required of the city and the businesses themselves may pose some delays.
According to Thursday’s Daily Corinthian, five businesses had published legal notice of their intent to obtain liquor permits for on-premise or package wine and liquor sales. Those businesses are:
• Ruby Tuesday, 210 Highway 72 West, Corinth; on-premise sales
• The General’s Quarters, 924 Fillmore St., Corinth; on-premise sales
• Twisted Cork, 108 Highway 72 West, Corinth; package store sales
• Corinth Wine & Spirits, 3113 Shiloh Road, Corinth; package store sales
• Twisted Spirits, 1100-B Highway 72 West, Corinth; page store sales
The businesses are giving Corinth residents notice that if they have any objections, those must be filed with the state Department of Revenue within 15 days of the first publication.
No matter how eager those businesses may be to get their new ventures under way, how soon legal sales of liquor and wine will begin in Corinth is unclear.
The Board of Aldermen adopted an ordinance on Jan. 2 that replicates the state Alcohol Beverage Control Board regulations with two exceptions. The city would like to offer on-premise sales 1-10 p.m. Sundays, where the ABC regulations prohibit Sunday sales. The city also would like to end wine and liquor sales at 9 p.m. Monday through Saturday, where ABC permits sales until 10 p.m.
The ABC board must rule on those requests before any further action can be taken.
“We must receive a certified copy of the city ordinance, which we have not received yet,” ABC spokeswoman Kathy Waterbury said on Thursday.
After receiving the certified ordinance and request it could be weeks or a month before a decision is rendered, she said.
After approving a city ordinance, the ABC board would then begin receiving and processing permit applications.
“Each applicant has to be investigated to make sure they are suitable to hold a permit under state law, which includes financial background, criminal background checks, the location,” Waterbury said. “That could take four, six, eight weeks depending on what the investigation may disclose. If there’s missing information on the application the time frame could be extended.”
Evaluation of the premises also includes examining staff training, financing, where the alcohol is stored, access, how it’s served, menus, health department rules and more.
“Those are the kinds of things they’ll be looking for to make sure they are suitable before they issue a permit,” Waterbury said. “It’s not like you turn on the water faucet and it immediately starts. There are layers, so all the applicants may not be opening on same day. We may get a slew of applications, but we have limited staff to investigate.”
lena.mitchell@journalinc.com