At least 3 applications likely for new Danville liquor licenses

DANVILLE — City officials expect to get at least three applications for new liquor licenses in coming weeks now that the Danville City Council has approved changes to the city's liquor ordinance, making six more licenses available.

The council Tuesday night approved creating a new PG liquor license classification for grocery stores and drug stores, which will include the six existing groceries and drug stores that sell alcohol in the city.

The new classification will also include an additional six licenses available to groceries and drug stores.

The six existing stores had been in the P, or package liquor, classification, which now will apply to package liquor stores only. There are nine existing package liquor stores, and the number of licenses in the P classification has been reduced from 15 to nine to cover the existing stores only.

Mayor Scott Eisenhauer said there has been a waiting list for P licenses, and the list included groceries, drug stores and package liquor stores.

With the new PG classification, city officials expect the groceries and drug stores on the waiting list to apply now for a PG license.

Eisenhauer would not disclose Wednesday the identity of the groceries or drug stores on the waiting list, but city officials do expect the new Meijer store to apply for one of the six additional PG licenses.

Both Walgreen's stores in the city do not sell alcohol. The drug store chain began reintroducing alcohol sales at many of its stores in 2010 after eliminating alcohol sales entirely at most of its stores in the mid-1990s.

Eisenhauer said City Clerk Janet Myers will be contacting any groceries or drug stores on the P waiting list to see if they are still interested in a license, and if so, the businesses will have to officially apply for a PG license at which time their identities could be released.

According to the ordinance, a convenience store cannot be a grocery store. A grocery is defined in the ordinance as a business where more than 50 percent of its sales are from groceries, produce, meat and associated products.

But under the changes approved Tuesday night, the grocery definition now includes a retail business in excess of 100,000 square feet that also sells grocery items, but its grocery sales don't exceed 50 percent of total sales.

Wal-Mart and Meijer stores would fall under that part of the definition.

The ordinance also specifically defines a drug store separately from a grocery, a convenient store and a package liquor store.

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