Locals React After Circuit Court Judge Reinstates Grocery Wine and Liquor Ban

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BOWLING GREEN, Ky. (WBKO) -- The US Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals reversed U.S. District Judge John D. Heyburn's 2012 decision to lift the liquor sales ban on grocery stores and gas stations on Wednesday, deciding the law didn't violate the U.S. Constitution's equal protection clause.

One shopper, not originally from Kentucky, says he's not used to such restrictions.

"We are from Ohio where it's very common to pick up some wine when you're buying your food for dinner, and I think it's somewhat ridiculous not to be able to buy wine in a grocery store," said shopper Matthew Rutter.

Many local grocery stores already eased their way around the ban by having liquor stores with separate entrances, and many gas stations like the Minit Mart on Campbell Ln. only sell beer anyway.

"If now what I understand is right, we can still sell beer. I don't see anything wrong with Minit Marts selling wine, but they don't, and I don't however think they should be allowed to sell liquor," said Minit Mart Cashier Donna Ashby.

Now gas stations couldn't sell wine if they wanted to, something Rutter doesn't understand.

"I really don't think that makes that much of a difference, particularly if they're still going to sell beer," said Rutter.

One local liquor store manager says the ban only helps his business.
"We would definitely lose a little bit of business from people. Especially drive-thru or something, people would just be in the grocery store and get what they wanted while they're in the grocery store," said Shenanigans Assistant Manager Ryan Cardwell.

Cardwell says they already lose business from beer sales in those locations, but he says no sense in taking the ban further to include beer.

"I'm fine with it. It's already established. You don't want to take away something that's already established," said Cardwell.

Cardwell says he knows it's also important to do what the people want.

The Food With Wine Coalition based in Frankfort that has fought to keep the right to sell liquor and wine in grocery stores, declined to comment, other than to say they are "evaluating their options with their attorney."

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