Fort Mitchell Latest Kentucky Town to OK Sunday Liquor Sales

Published December 1, 2004

For the first time since Prohibition, people may buy liquor on Sundays in Fort Mitchell, Kentucky.

The Fort Mitchell City Council voted on October 18 to allow sales of packaged distilled spirits, wine, and beer after 11 a.m. on Sundays. The city joins only three other Kentucky communities–Bellevue, Independence, and Crescent Springs–in allowing Sunday liquor sales.

The ordinances allowing Sunday spirits sales have followed a July 30 court ruling overturning the state’s Blue Law banning such sales and thereby allowing local governments in Kentucky to decide the matter individually.

“In today’s busy society, Sunday is the second-busiest shopping day of the week, and it makes good business sense to modernize spirits sales and allow stores to open seven days a week,” said Peter H. Cressy, president of the Distilled Spirits Council, which has successfully pushed for states to allow beverage alcohol sales on Sundays.

The Distilled Spirits Council is working with the Kentucky Wine and Spirits Wholesalers Association and retailers in other Kentucky cities to support Sunday sales measures.

In the past two-and-a-half years, 11 states, including Kentucky and nearby Ohio, have moved to allow Sunday spirits sales, bringing to 32 the total number of states that allow beverage alcohol sales on Sundays.

Fort Mitchell has two package-liquor license holders–Kroger’s grocery and Jim’s Beverage Station–according to City Administrator Bill Goetz.

“It’s more of a convenience issue than anything,” Goetz told Cincinnati Enquirer reporter Cindy Schroeder, who discussed prospects for Fort Mitchell’s Sunday liquor sales ordinance in an October 2 article. “A lot of people entertain on Sundays,” Goetz said. “If they run out of liquor, it would be available in the city (seven days a week).”

The move to allow Sunday liquor sales in Kentucky began two years ago, when the Party Source in Bellevue, a liquor megastore, deliberately sold a bottle of Jim Beam to an Alcoholic Beverage Control agent on a Sunday. That resulted in a court challenge and a state appeals court ruling overturning Kentucky’s ban on Sunday liquor sales. The state chose not to appeal to the state Supreme Court.

Lisa Hawkins is vice president of public affairs and communications at the Distilled Spirits Council of the United States. She can be reached through the organization’s Web feedback form at