Whitesburg KY

Store first to sell package liquor here since 1943

A new retail store near Ermine is the first to sell liquor and wine legally in Whitesburg in nearly 70 years.

Big Daddy’s Liquor Barn LLC, which is owned by Sandy Hammock of Whitesburg, opened for business on April 2.

The store, which is located at 481 Highway 119 in Whitesburg in a 24- by 36-foot building, is named after her late father, Paul Collins of Colson. Hammock and her father, who died 33 years ago, had taken up petitions years ago in an effort to make Letcher County a wet county.

Letcher County residents voted to go “dry” in 1943 while many of its young men were overseas fighting in World War II. Voters in the City of Whitesburg reversed the ban last June by a margin of more than two-to-one in an election that represented the first time the “wet or dry” question had been placed on a ballot in the town since late 1943.

Distributors brought liquor to the store around 4 p.m. Tuesday and more distributors will bring shipments on Friday, said Hammock, who was the only Letcher County resident to apply for a retail liquor license.

“We’ve got quite a bit,” said Hammock.

She said business was steady on Tuesday. The store, which has a drive-thru window, is open from 10 a.m. until midnight.

Rite Aid Pharmacy, which is located on the opposite end of Whitesburg, was also issued a retail liquor package license in January from the Kentucky Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control in Frankfort.

Eric Harkreader, Rite Aid spokesperson, said liquor sales at the Whitesburg Rite Aid could begin in early May once new fixtures are installed and the store’s product presentation is updated.

Eleanor Caudill, ABC administrator for the City of Whitesburg, said she is not aware of any timelines for a store to stock and sell liquor once being issued a license.

Two other businesses, East KY Discount Tobacco and Beer and Fuzzy’s Liquor and Beer, had also applied for liquor licenses.

The number of liquor package licenses available in a town is set by law and based upon current population figures.

Rite Aid was issued the city’s first retail beer license on October 12. Big Daddy’s Liquor Barn LLC, Food City, Walmart, East KY Discount Tobacco and Beer, Dollar General Store and Fuzzy’s Liquor Beer and Tobacco Partnership have all been issued retail beer licenses.

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