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July 13, 2012

ABC picks winners of Corbin package licenses

CORBIN — By Jeff Noble, Staff Writer

The three package liquor licenses for the city of Corbin have been selected, and the winners are Liquor King, LLC., Tri County Liquor of Corbin, LLC. and Ernie’s Spirits, LLC.

The decision was made Wednesday by the Kentucky Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control in Frankfort. State ABC Public Information Officer Nathan Jones said Thursday the award letters were mailed to the three winners, telling them of the ABC’s decision.

The three were picked from a field of 12 applicants who wanted to be awarded the coveted license to sell liquor, beer and wine by the package in Corbin.

Liquor King will be located at 1601 Cumberland Falls Highway. First Corbin Realty currently owns the property, which formerly housed Juder Stidham’s auto dealership. William H. Smith of Corbin is listed on the city’s ABC application as member, president, agent for service of process, and 51% owner of Liquor King, while Wanda A. Simons of Corbin is listed as member, secretary, treasurer and 49% owner.

Tri County Liquor will be located at 14659 North U.S. Highway 25E,  (Cumberland Gap Parkway) in the building that once housed Dairy Queen in the Trademart Shopping Center. New Port Richey Development Co. LLC. is the lessor of the property, with Tri County Liquor of Corbin, LLC as the lessee. Jack Taylor of Richmond is listed on the application as manager/member, while C. Frank Shoop of Lexington and Derrick Sears, of Richmond, are listed as members.

Ernie’s Spirits will be located at 25 RJV Drive in Corbin, off the Cumberland Falls Highway in the lot behind Applebee’s Restaurant. The city’s ABC application lists RJV Properties, LLC, pending sale to Matuse Property Holding as the property owner. Kevin Durham, of Lexington, is listed as the owner.

For Smith, the news about getting the license was a good way to enjoy a vacation in Atlanta.

“I’m excited about it. We’ve worked hard to get that license. I’ve been a businessman in Corbin for over 30 years, and I hope that experience will give us a competitive edge. We’ll try to make it as nice of a location as we can,” Smith said in a phone interview Thursday.

He added the old car dealership building contains about 10,000 square feet of space, with more than 100 parking spaces. When completed, Liquor King plans to employ 15 full-time and five to 10 part-time employees.

“The building’s been sitting there for several years, and we’ll make it attractive for the city. I think Corbin has made a good decision on how they handled this on the licenses,” Smith said.

With Tri County Liquor getting the license, Jack Taylor is looking forward to coming home to Corbin.

“I got the letter today, and I am just excited and honored to be selected. Having been born and raised here, it’s gonna be a homecoming for me,” Taylor said Thursday from Richmond.

Taylor noted he’s been in the liquor business for 22 years, and is a partner in the Liquor Mart chain of package liquor stores. The Richmond-based company has several stores in the region, including locations in Richmond, Danville and Manchester.

After some massive remodeling and expanding, the old Dairy Queen in the Trademart Center will be ready to go for Tri County Liquor, according to Taylor.

“It’s currently around 3,000 square feet, and we plan on adding another 1,200 square feet to it. We’ll remodel the inside, make it nice, clean and well-lit, and have a great selection of wines and imported beers, in addition to our liquor brands. We’ve already contacted the shopping center and the contractor who will do the remodeling, and we’ll get that ball rolling,”

Taylor mentioned the award letter from the ABC said the deadline to be open was Oct. 31.

“October 31st? That’s Halloween. We hope to be open before that. In fact, we expect to be open within three months from now,” he said.

Calls to Kevin Durham in Lexington were made Thursday, but not returned.

When Ernie’s Spirits, Tri County Liquor and Liquor King start operating, the city of Corbin will get five percent of all sales of package liquor and wine, as well as four percent of all package beer and malt beverages sold.

The decision for the three winners in Corbin’s package liquor process was made by the ABC’s Distilled Spirits Commissioner, Danny Reed. He recently met with Corbin’s ABC Administrator, Assistant Police Chief Bruce Rains. After looking at all 12 applications, assessing the community’s needs, and talking to Rains and other officials, Reed sent a letter to each applicant, informing them of the ABC’s decision.

The nine stores that were not awarded a package liquor license by the state are Hometown Liquors, LLC; North Main Street Wine and Spirits; Whiskey Dick’s Spirits, LLC; Whiskey River Liquors; Mohican Discount Tobacco, LLC; Liquor Mart of Corbin, LLC; Liquor Station; Rite Aid of Kentucky, Inc.; and Liquor World of Corbin, LLC.

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