Covington COVINGTON — County commissioners recently amended the ordinance governing alcohol sales by the drink, and although the ordinance became effective Jan. 1, there are no businesses that qualify to serve in the allowed areas.
Sales by the drink are limited to established overlay districts within the county. Thus far, there are two overlays, in the Almon community and Stanton Springs mixed-use business park. Sales are limited to specific locations within those overlays — the area designated as a town center in Stanton Springs and the mixed-use and town center areas of the Almon overlay.
Alcohol by-the-drink sales are also limited to restaurants with a majority of sales coming from food, and hotels, motels and extended stay hotels that contain eating establishments that meet the food sales ratio criteria. There are no businesses in those areas that qualify, said Commissioner Nancy Schulz. She said the hope was to get the Salem Overlay adopted so that establishments in that area could take advantage of the ordinance in the new year, but that was tabled after citizen input led commissioners to decide more public education and some alterations to the overlay are needed.
As more overlays are adopted in the future, the board will need to approve amendments to add them to the alcohol sales ordinance. Other planned overlays in addition to Salem include Brick Store and Oak Hill.
Commissioners approved the amended ordinance by a vote of 3 to 2 with Mort Ewing and J.C. Henderson opposed. Ewing has been opposed to alcohol sales in the county each time the issue has been discussed. Henderson, however, said he opposes the limitations on sales. “If we’re going to open up the county to sell alcohol by the drink, I feel like it should be open to everyone in the county,” he said.