Another liquor store may open

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Craig might soon have another liquor store.

Behrman Construction is 70 percent done with the rebuild of a 1,500-square-foot structure on the east side of town, but owners Roger Corey and Veldon "Lopp" Behrman have yet to obtain a retail liquor store license.

"I think the market can bear it, and I think it's a good location for one," Corey said.

Eastside Liquors will be on the corner of East Victory Way and Colorado Street. Corey said Eastside Market was on the same lot in the 1950s and '60s, which is where the new store's name came from. Part of the structure was salvaged and is being remodeled for the shop.

Craig currently has four liquor stores -- Cork & Bottle Shop, Dark Horse Discount Liquor, Loadout Liquors and Stockmen's Liquors -- and Craig City Council member Kent Nielson said that's sufficient.

"I think we have enough liquor stores in town, so there's plenty of outlets to get liquor," he said.

Another location will cut into the existing stores' profits, Nielson said, but he's not yet sure how he'll vote in a public hearing to be held July 12 at Craig City Hall, 300 W. Fourth St.

Community members can attend and voice opinions about the proposed license. Then council members vote based on the best interest of residents.

"We try to represent as many of the people in the city limits as possible," Nielson said. "We try to do what's best for the majority of the residents in the city of Craig."

The store's owners are optimistic about the result of the decision.

"Everyone we've talked to has been supportive," Behrman said.

That includes Lennie and Lori Gillam, owners of Stockmen's.

"We were once the new kids on the block," Lori said, "and it's hard enough to open your business without everyone giving you bad advice."

So the couple has been giving Corey, who will manage the store, helpful tips.

As for Craig being saturated with liquor stores, Lori said it's up to the residents to decide. Lennie added the store will give the public more selection.

Corey said he lives on the east side of town and has often wanted a liquor store closer to home.

The store will offer beer, liquor and a wide selection of wines, on which Corey intends to focus. Eastside will not have a drive-through, at least not by mid-August, the projected opening date.

But the store won't be opening at all if its owners can't get a liquor license.

"If not, I don't know what we'll do with the building," Behrman said.

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