Sharp Co. liquor store applicants given green light to open stor - KAIT Jonesboro, AR - Region 8 News, weather, sports

Sharp Co. liquor store applicants given green light to open stores

SHARP COUNTY, AR (KAIT) – Beer and wine have already made it onto store shelves in Sharp County, but soon people will be able to purchase hard liquor at a local liquor store.

The Arkansas Alcoholic Beverage Control Board gave four applicants the final approval they needed last week to open liquor stores.

One applicant, Thomas Bagwell, now hopes to have his store opened near Ravenden by November, almost a year after voters decided to turn Sharp County ‘wet.'

"We're hoping to be open hopefully – if nothing goes wrong – sometime around the first of November," Bagwell said.

He plans to build T&C Sportsman's Liquor on a vacant lot, located at 3295 Highway 63 near the Lawrence-Sharp county line, with his brother, Terry, and their business partner, Conley Hatfield.

"We just thought this would be a great location to catch a lot of people going to the lakes and rivers and vacationers," Bagwell said.

He first applied for the liquor store license in February along with 43 others. The ABC Board then held a drawing in June to decide which four could earn a license. The state regulates that Sharp County can only have four liquor stores based on the size of its population.

Bagwell luckily had his name drawn along with people now planning to open their own liquor stores in Williford, Highland and Ash Flat.

"I think this will be a great location on this end of the county," he said, "because there was nobody applying for this area really."

Bagwell's liquor store will be 50 feet by 80 feet when it's completed, with 4,000 square feet of space inside. It will include a "beer cave" in the back of the store as well as a drive-thru window. The building will sit next to what was once the Ozark Gift Shop on Highway 63, which will be torn down to extend power lines and make room for additional parking.

"We'll have plenty of parking for boats and people going to the deer woods pulling four-wheelers," Bagwell said.

He believes his new business will benefit the community of Ravenden and the surrounding area. He says the liquor store will not only create a few jobs but will also generate new sales tax revenue. It will also allow him to finally work close to home since he currently commutes from Ravenden to Mountain Home every day to run his roofing business with his brother.

"I think it will be a success," he said.

Bagwell hopes to break ground and start construction by the end of August. The ABC Board, however, will have to inspect the building once it's built so that he can officially open for business.

Copyright 2013 KAIT. All rights reserved.

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