Union faces decision on liquor sales

Store owner seeks to keep business in town
By Daniel Dunkle | Oct 10, 2018
Photo by: Daniel Dunkle Wayne Kirkpatrick, who owns Four Corner Variety in Union, hopes the town will vote in November to allow his store to sell liquor, except on Sundays.

Union — Wayne Kirkpatrick of Union said he gathered signatures to put liquor sales on the ballot so he could generate business for his store and keep those sales in town.

Kirkpatrick, who has co-owned Four Corner Variety for about three years with his wife, Corrie, said that since the town prohibits sales of liquor, people drive to Washington or Hope to buy it, putting his business at a disadvantage.

He submitted a petition to the town and a question will appear on the Nov. 6 ballot asking, "Shall this municipality authorize the state to permit the operation of agency liquor stores on days other than Sunday?"

A total of 239 residents signed the petition, which is on file at Union's Town Office.

Kirkpatrick said he believes there is support for this change in the town, noting that no one came to a recent public hearing on the issue.

Four Corner Variety, at the corner of routes 235 and 17, has about 12 employees. Kirkpatrick expressed concern about the change in the law also helping his competition from other stores in town.

Previously the town has allowed beer and wine sales, according to Town Manager Jay Feyler.

If the question is supported, sales will still be prohibited on Sundays, and it would take another petition and vote of the town to change that.

Maine is considered the birthplace of Prohibition, being the first state to ban alcohol sales in 1851. Even after Prohibition was ended on the national level in 1933, the temperance movement remained strong in the state and towns were allowed to prohibit liquor licenses within their borders, becoming "dry towns."

In recent decades, there has been a shift, as dry towns began to vote to allow alcohol sales and liquor licenses. Cushing voted in 2012 to allow the sale of wine and malt liquor. Friendship lifted its ban on alcohol sales in 2009. Hope voted to allow on-premises liquor sales in 2007.

Comments (1)
Posted by: Francis Mazzeo, Jr. | Oct 10, 2018 17:02

Buy local and hopefully it keeps them off the road.

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