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  1. #1
    Bourbonian of the Year 2004 and Guru
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    Alcohol in Kentucky...

    This was published, May 27, 2004, in the Courier Journal, Louisville Ky.

    I have noticed in the last decade or so, special elections for a wet or dry vote...or a partial wet or dry vote...

    The article published, was about Pulaski County allowing "by the drink" in restaurants and other establishements that meet certain requirements by law.

    The article states that---the number of communities across Kentucky going wet has been increasing as suppoters tout alcohol sales as engines of economic development. Critics say selling alcohol brings problems and unwanted changes, but no communities have gone dry in recent years. In Oldham County last November, voters agreed to allow alcohol sales in restaurants, which supporters predicted would lead others to open restaurants and keep entertainment dollars in the community.

    I frequent a small town in Hardin County, Elizabethtown. For as long as I can remember, that town was dry as dust. Several years ago, I kinda figured it was going to go partial wet. They started building restaurants with real "Bars" in them but the strongest drink you could get was a "Mountain Dew" ...Restaurants like Texas Road House, O'Charlies, Tumbleweed etc. After seeing that kinda money spent on a Bar without alcolhol, we knew that a change was going to happen . It did and I am glad ...

    Bettye Jo
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  2. #2
    Bourbonian of the Year 2002 and Guru
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    Re: Alcohol in Kentucky...

    From my time in Kentucky I remember that Oldham County, and no doubt others in the state, had a million ways of getting around the law. I remember at least one place at which regular patrons could rent a small locker behind the bar, which would be stocked with liquor they supplied. You would present your key--like a safe deposit box--and the bartender would give you your bottle or bottles along with any set-ups you requested. Other Oldham County places simply followed a BYOB policy. At one very proper restaurant I frequented, I used to get a kick out of the little old ladies who would have a pint bottle of Old Grand-Dad sitting on the table.

    For those who don't know, Oldham County is adjacent to Jefferson County, which is where Louisville is located. It is along the river and much of it, like that part of Jefferson, is very upscale.

  3. #3
    Bourbonian of the Year 2011
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    Re: Alcohol in Kentucky...

    In a fully dry county, I assume that the retail sale of alcoholic beverages is prohibited except where restaurants are licensed. Since automobiles, which most people have or have access to, allow one to travel to a nearby county in the State allowing sale of alcohol, I wonder why the counties that persist in being dry do so? At one time, when people were less mobile than today, a dry regime would ensure people bought less alcohol. Is that true today? I was interested to see how many counties are dry in Kentucky.

    Gary

  4. #4
    Bourbonian of the Year 2004 and Guru
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    Re: Alcohol in Kentucky...

    I lived in Elizabethtown about twenty five years ago. We moved there for a short while They like ta preach the "no alcohol here crap" but county line liquor stores are one of the best businesses to own, in these parts If you live in a dry county, everyone just runs to the county line to get their alcohol.

    In my little town where I live (now) it borders, Larue County. There is a liquor store right on river's edge (county line). The entire roof was it's advertising sign. When you entered Nelson County, the roof was painted with the words "First Chance"...When you left the county, it had "Last Chance" painted on the roof This property came up for sale not long ago. We considered buying it ...but let it go. We have too many irons in the fire now

    Soooooooo...most major highways leading that between wet and dry counties...there is a liquor store

    Bettye Jo

  5. #5

    Re: Alcohol in Kentucky...

    Before I drive to KY from time to time, I usually run a Google search for "Kentucky wet counties" so I know where I can find liquor stores to browse. I've discovered a map similar to the one in your post several times. Another item I've found interesting is this University of Cincinnati study:
    Wet vs. Dry in Kentucky
    It's a couple years old, but provides some interesting background nonetheless.
    I've also run across the term "moist" to describe counties like Warren/Bowling Green, where a municipality is wet but the county is dry.
    Incidentally, both Jack Daniel's (Moore County) and George Dickel (Coffee County) are located in Tennessee dry counties, though Coffee is 'moist' -- liquor sales are allowed in the county seat of Tullahoma.


  6. #6
    Bourbonian of the Year 2002 and Guru
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    Re: Alcohol in Kentucky...

    Don't assume anything. In Kentucky and other states that have "local option" you can find just about anything. Some places are hard core and will even bust people serving alcohol in private homes. Others wink at BYOB restaurants and even bars. Others permit "private clubs" (membership costs 50 cents) to serve alcohol. You are right that most places permit "by the drink" sales in bars and restaurants before they permit package sales, and some only permit alcohol to be sold in places that serve food--attempting to prohibit bars--but that is tough to police. Even here in Chicago, which is generally open, they use alcohol control to limit so-called "adult entertainment." It's a big deal for a "gentleman's club" to have a "full liquor bar," because many are only licensed to sell beer and wine.

    Why does it persist, in a day and age when no one with a car is very far from a package store? I was always told, in Kentucky at least, that the three groups most opposed to legal liquor sales are the preachers and their flocks who oppose it on religious grounds, the bootleggers who want to protect their business and the law enforcement officials who want to protect the payoffs they get from the bootleggers.

    Bootleggers? Yes indeed. Still an institution in dry counties. Why drive over to Whatsitsville when ole Dave is sellin' pints of Jack out of the trunk of his car out behind the old Tastee Freeze?

  7. #7
    Enthusiast
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    Re: Alcohol in Kentucky...

    >Even here in Chicago, which is generally open, they use alcohol control
    >to limit so-called "adult entertainment." It's a big deal for a "gentleman's
    >club" to have a "full liquor bar," because many are only licensed to sell
    >beer and wine.

    I've been told that there are only two counties in the entire US of A
    that allow full nudity and (simultaneously) the unlimited sale of alcohol.
    Oh, and I happen to live in one of those counties. (Champaign County, IL).

    >Bootleggers? Yes indeed. Still an institution in dry counties. Why
    >drive over to Whatsitsville when ole Dave is sellin' pints of Jack
    >out of the trunk of his car out behind the old Tastee Freeze?

    I've heard similar stores from Alabama. Apparently the cops (who run
    the local racket) will pull you over if they think you've made a
    liquor run to the next county, and will confiscate.

    Tim Dellinger

  8. #8
    Guru
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    Re: Alcohol in Kentucky...

    My favorite wet/dry experience was when my sister lived in Texarkana in the early seventies and I think it was State Line Blvd that ran right on the border between the states. On one side of the street in a wet county was bar after bar and on the other side in the dry county was church after church.

  9. #9
    Bourbonian of the Year 2002 and Guru
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    Re: Alcohol in Kentucky...

    I went to Miami University, in Oxford, Ohio, then the last bastion of 3.2 beer. College Corner, Indiana, which just happened to be across the state line, was the nearest town with full liquor sales. The town literally sat on the border, with all the bars on the Indiana side, of course. Can't say I remember where the churches were.

    The other thing I remember was how easy it was to hitchhike there and back (it was about 7 miles) on a Friday afternoon. The traffic was solid and it was all going from Oxford to CC and back for the weekend liquor run. People also rode bikes and even walked. Friday afternoon liquor runs to CC were very much part of the Miami experience.

  10. #10
    Bourbonian of the Year 2009 and Virtuoso
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    Re: Alcohol in Kentucky...

    Here in Texas, "alcohol" is voted on a precinct-by-precinct basis. Even in the big city of Dallas, about 75% is dry. Most restaraunts in the dry areas allowed you to bring your own beer or wine in with you.....sure makes dining out cheap. All of Houston is wet. Regarding "gentlemen's clubs", the straight topless clubs have full licenses while the totally nude clubs can't sell anything....you get to bring your own in.....so I've been told.

    Randy

 

 

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