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Madison County Businesses Prepare to Sell Alcohol

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Store shelves and restaurant menus in Madison County may be void of alcohol now, but some expect the first sales to happen within days.

This comes after voters approved alcohol sales in September.

Godwins supermarket is clearing shelf space to stock alcohol, while Mexican restaurant Rancho Viejo is building a new bar. These are just two places among over a dozen that have applied for alcohol permits.

"I think it's about what we thought initially, we feel though there will be a number more as people look around," said Madison County Judge Cecil Neely.

The state recently approved the first seven permits. Rancho Viejo is still waiting for its approval, but the owner expects alcohol sales to cover 30 percent of the restaurants revenue.

In the meantime, the county and Madisonville have enacted ordinances banning alcohol sales from within 300 feet of churches, schools, and hospitals.

Opponents of the county going wet feel alcohol sales will increase crime.

"Hopefully there isn't going to be that much of an increase in the crime rate. I expect to see a few more DWI arrests and a few more family violence type calls," said Madisonville Police Chief George Sweetin.

Neely added, "I am concerned about it, I really didn't want to see it come into the county at this time, however it's in and now we're going to do the best we can to make sure we keep the county safe."

Allowing alcohol is a big step for the county and business owners hope it's a step that will lead to increased profits.