By Lucas Vader
On Thursday, the Go-fer Foods convenience store and gas station in Cedaredge was approved by the town for a malt liquor beverage (MLB) license, thereby allowing the convenience store to sell beer in the last two refrigerator doors on the back wall.
“This is the first time they have applied for a liquor license,” Town Clerk Kami Collins said, mentioning also that the state has already reviewed and approved the license on their end.
One note of concern is that there can’t be too many of the same liquor licenses in a certain area. The closest location with an MLB license is the Cedaredge Foodtown, which Collins said is far enough away, and Mesa Liquors has a different type of license which does not jeopardize Go-fer Food’s standing.
The board did initially receive a written objection to Go-fer Food’s proposed license from Bob Michael, husband of Trustee Patti Michael and previous trustee himself, as well as the owner (with Patti) of Mesa Liquors. Because of this, Patti Michael excluded herself from voting on the matter and left the virtual meeting until the end of the discussion.
Bob Michael’s objections were in part due to the potential harm it would bring his own business when a town the size of Cedaredge has four different locations to purchase beer. In part, he also claimed that the gas station’s current parking situation would become disastrous with increased traffic and parking desires. There are limited parking spaces and regular congestion as it is.
“With an increase of retail beer traffic, we would have jams at the pumps, created because patrons would leave their vehicles and go inside to pay or shop,” Michael’s letter said.
Ultimately, however, Michael was on the virtual call and, in the same turn in which he explained his concerns, he withdrew his objection.
“There will be some ramifications, certainly for us, but not to the extent that we had originally envisioned,” Michael said. “And that is why I do withdraw my objection. I think we’ve got a great little town. I think if we’re very careful and the city balances the needs of the city and the desires of the city, I think we’ll do fine.”
According to management of Go-fer Foods, after all, the decision to pursue a malt liquor beverage license was followed due to customer requests, as it’s common for convenience stores to have liquor sales. Therefore, the lack thereof is a common topic at Go-fer Foods.
Proper precautions are promised to be taken, including the locking of alcohol coolers during times when the business is closed, and proper identification under federal law.
The motion did pass unanimously.