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State senator wants Main Street liquor store reopened

Published: Thursday, April 28 2011 5:10 p.m. MDT

SALT LAKE CITY — A state senator wants a Salt Lake liquor store reopened a month after it was closed because of last year's budget cuts.

Sen. Ben McAdams, D-Salt Lake, proposed Thursday using some of $1.4 million that Gov. Gary Herbert and House and Senate leaders recently allocated to keep nine other liquor stores open to reopen the Main Street store that closed in March.

"I believe that store is a crucial piece of the service," he said at the Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control's monthly meeting. "It's a profitable store, generating over $1.2 million in revenue each year."

In a deal cut last year, the store at 1457 S. Main closed with the expectation that customers would patronize other stores in the Salt Lake area. But McAdams said the surrounding liquor stores don't have the capacity to absorb the Main Street outlet's customers, and it's inconvenient for them to travel to stores farther away.

DABC chairman Sam Granato, who is worried about the impact the store's closing will have on surrounding businesses that rely on the Main Street outlet as an anchor to attract customers, said he fully supports McAdams' proposal to reopen the store.

"We would like nothing more than to open it," he said. "We want to get people back to work."

But the decision is not in his hands. It's up to Gov. Gary Herbert, House Speaker Becky Lockhart, R-Provo, and Senate President Michael Waddoups, R-Taylorsville, to allocate the resources necessary to reopen the Main Street location.

If the funds become available, the store could be up and running about two weeks later, McAdams said.

The store closed because of a legislatively mandated budget cut last year. In the past week, Herbert and legislative leaders worked out a way for the DABC to shift money within the agency to keep nine other liquor stores — that were set to close at the beginning of the new budget year — open until February 2012.

Email: averzello@desnews.com

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