Granby OKs booze for Kum & Go
A roomful of citizens had already filed out of the Granby boardroom after a three-hour hearing on a controversial Granby Marketplace liquor license.Next on the agenda, Kum & Go District Supervisor Philip Hoey – seeking a 3.2 percent alcohol beer off-premise liquor license for the new convenience store at the west-end of Granby – approached the podium.”I feel like the third-string guitar player on the corner trying to follow-up Woodstock,” he said.This amused the meeting audience, which had dwindled to only a few people.After presenting survey results and talking about how the 3.2 percent products at Kum & Go are merely stocked for customer convenience and represent a very small share of business revenue, Hoey listened for the vote.Trustee Pro-Tem Ed Raffety made the motion in favor of the Kum & Go liquor license, Elaine Henrekin seconded, and the board passed it unanimously.”I don’t know what their problem was, that was easy,” Hoey joked, referring to the previous liquor license applicant whose hearing was continued by the board after three hours of testimony. The Kum & Go 24-hour convenience store will be the third business in Granby to sell 3.2 percent beer products, some of which contain less than half of the alcohol content found in specialty beers. City Market and 7-Eleven are the others.The 3.2 percent beer sales used to be significant on Sundays when Colorado liquor laws forbade the sale of full-strength alcohol. But ever since that law changed last year to allow Sunday sales, Hoey said, the 3.2 percent products remain on-hand in Kum & Go stores for those customers who prefer less alcohol and for purchases outside liquor-store hours. Although the new store will be open during the night, Hoey said 3.2 percent beer sales will have set hours. The products will take up about 18 feet of cooler space in the new store, he told board members, in a location strategically visible to the cashier. As many as 36 other Kum & Go locations in Colorado have 3.2 percent beer licenses, he said.Only one member of the public spoke out in opposition of the license process. Pete Gallo, owner of the Mega Matt on the east end of Agate Avenue in Granby, said the person of the contracted survey company who approached him to sign Kum & Go’s liquor-license petition “never mentioned that I can sign against it,” he said, but only asked if he’d like to sign in favor of it. Hoey responded that on the document itself, it was clear that a person could sign for or against the license. Out of 143 signatures garnered for the 3.2 percent liquor license application, 20 residents signed against it, equating to 83 percent of those surveyed favoring the new license. The town had received no formal documentation in opposition to the license.The evening made an impression on Hoey, who said he really saw “passionate individuals who care about their town” during the previous hearing on the liquor license for the Granby Marketplace. In the “dozens” of liquor application hearings he’s witnessed in towns sometimes with over 100,000 residents, Hoey said, he’s “never seen that many people come out in support or against.”- Tonya Bina can be reached at 970-887-3334 ext. 19603 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
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