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ABC board denies beer permit for LR store

A new grocery store wanting to sell beer is told "no" by the state Alcohol Beverage Control board. The grocery store is set to open on the city's south side at 2501 Arch.
LITTLE ROCK, AR - A new grocery store wanting to sell beer is told "no" by the state Alcohol Beverage Control board. The grocery store is set to open on the city's south side at 2501 Arch.

There is already a liquor store on the corner of Arch and Roosevelt. And across the street, a conditional permit to sell beer posted in the window of a not yet open grocery store.

The owners on Wednesday made their case to the state Alcohol Beverage Control to let them sell beer.

"What we're talking about here is not a liquor store, we're talking about a 300 square foot beer cooler so their grocery store can be competitive," attorney Cliff McKinney says.

The property owners thought they had a good location to sell beer because the Save-A-Lot grocery store one block away had closed down a few months ago.

But they collided head on with strong opposition, not only from neighbors, but Little Rock Police and ward 2 city director Ken Richardson.

"While some people may find it convenient that you can walk and get a 40, but if you deal with people loitering, hanging on parking lots, hanging on corner, then those become precursors to crime," Richardson told the ABC board.

After nearly two hours of testimony, the board voted 5-0 to deny the permit, saying the area already has enough places to buy beer.

After the decision, the owners say they still plan to open the grocery store. However, they say they don't know when that will happen. The same owners have a similar store already in operation on 12th Street.
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