A plan to stop a proposed liquor store in College Plaza fizzled Tuesday, as the city voted 2-0 a liquor license to a local attorney who plans to sell high-end alcohol in South Durango.
Chris Hamilton’s plan to open a liquor store next door to the Eighth Avenue Tavern was met with a 100-plus-signature petition circulated by the owners of two south Durango liquor stores – 6th Street Liquors at 273 College Drive and Likker House at 277 Eighth Ave.
Bart Mangan, owner of 6th Street Liquors, told the Local Licensing Authority the south side of Durango, the area south of College Drive and east of Main Avenue, would be “oversaturated” with another liquor store.
“I don’t think anybody has a problem buying a beer in the south side,” Mangan said.
In Colorado, liquor stores must be 500 feet from public schools. City Code Enforcement Officer Steve Barkley said he measured 501 feet between the store’s proposed location and the Park Elementary School the first time and 506 feet the second time.
Mangan said the city’s measurements might be off.
Hamilton’s store, to be called W.J. Doyle Wine & Spirits, would be located at 509 East Eighth Avenue, Suite 7, where Bandwagon Music was. He said he wants to cater to oenophiles and offer curbside service and online sales.
“We’re not going to sell Mad Dog. We’re not going to sell Boone’s Farm,” he said referring to the inexpensive liquor and wine.
Hamilton gave the authority a petition of his own and brought several parents and neighbors of Park Elementary, who supported his application. He said he knocked on doors around College Plaza and collected 120 signatures, though a dozen were disqualified. Mangan’s petition was not considered by the authority because addresses were not included with the names.
Twenty people attended the meeting. Authority chairman Ron LeBlanc said it was the most people he has seen at a liquor board meeting.
Hamilton’s next step is to get approval from the city’s building and police departments, and the state Department of Revenue.
After the meeting, Hamilton said more competition would be a good thing for South Durango.
“Mr. Mangan has been charging high prices for a long time,” Hamilton said. “And more competition will force him to lower them.”
In other business:
b The Giant Store at 20453 U.S. Highway 160 was granted a license to sell 3.2 beer. The store is a former Mustang gas station being reconstructed as part of the Twin Buttes development.
b Tacos Nayarit owner Antonio Bogarin agreed to follow the conditions of an earlier agreement with the city to not sell alcohol before 5 p.m. or advertise it on the exterior of his building.
After two years and several trips before the City Council, the liquor authority approved a license waiver for in April. The state rejected the license because the city’s waiver dealt with one business, not a class of businesses. Tuesday’s action was intended to clarifying the issue.