Decatur’s commission has approved amendments to the alcoholic beverage ordinance allowing for the sale of packaged liquor, beer and wine from the same the retail store. But this applies only to the general downtown district, and it has to be a store where more than 50 percent of floor space is dedicated to the sale of food and food-related products.
The sale of packaged liquor has always been legal in Decatur. But previously liquor couldn’t be sold out of the same store as beer in wine. Therefore, with one brief exception several years ago (a package store on East College Avenue was grandfathered in after a small annexation), Decatur hasn’t had a liquor store within city limits for many years.
Assistant City Manager Lyn Menne said the city’s looking to recruit a small, “urban-type” grocer/market, possibly a deli operation for downtown that could sell beer, wine and liquor. She added that the city has a place in mind but it might be another month before an announcement is made.
There was originally a grocery planned for the Cousins development (on the old Callaway Building site) that probably would’ve sold beer, wine and liquor. Menne said that fell through because prospective grocers wanted a much larger footprint than the site could accommodate.