55 Liquor Stores Could Open in Benton County

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As many as 55 new liquor stores may call Benton County home should voters pass an initiative to allow retail alcohol sales in November.

State law allows one liquor store per every 4,000 residents of a county. More than 220,000 people reside in Benton County, so the number of liquor store permitted is capped at 55, Michael Langley, director of the state’s Alcoholic Beverage Control department said.

There is no limit on the number of grocery stores and convenience stores that will be allowed to sell alcohol. Though, they will only be permitted to sell beer and small farm wines, Langley said.

Langley said a second vote will be needed to determine if restaurants, outside of those licensed as private clubs will be allowed to sell liquor by the drink, or mixed drinks.

The earliest the second vote can be called to question is six months after the November election, should the wet initiative be passed, according to Langley.

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