Despite objections, Carbondale will get another liquor store |

Despite objections, Carbondale will get another liquor store

John Stroud
Glenwood Springs correspondent
Aspen, CO Colorado

CARBONDALE ” Carbondale will be a five-liquor-store town after all, unless the free-market system determines otherwise.

That’s where the town trustees came down Tuesday night in voting 6-1 to approve a retail liquor license for the new Pop’s Liquors, against the wishes of other liquor store owners.

Tom Yerke, who is relocating to the valley from California, plans to take over the space in the Cowen Center convenience store/gas station near the intersection of Highways 82 and 133 that was formerly occupied by the Carbondale Vineyard Co. for many years until it closed last fall.

It will be the fifth liquor store within Carbondale town limits, after another new outlet, Wine Time/Beer Cave, was approved by the trustees in March. It recently opened for business in the Red Rock Plaza, located about a half a mile south of where Pop’s will open.

Unlike other retail establishments, state liquor laws allow local jurisdictions to determine whether the needs of a neighborhood are already being met, or if there is an undue concentration of liquor stores. Several years ago, Carbondale officials rejected a request for a new liquor store on those very grounds.

But trustees determined that Carbondale has grown enough since then that a fifth liquor store is not out of line.

“I don’t think this causes an undue burden,” Trustee Stacey Bernot said. “I don’t see this as the tipping point by any means.

“The market will dictate what happens,” she said. “Just because we grant (the license), that doesn’t mean the business is going to be successful.”

Added Mayor Michael Hassig, speaking in favor of granting the license and equating it to his profession, “I’d be delighted to say we have enough damn architects in this town. But I can’t make that argument.”

Only Trustee John Foulkrod voted against granting the new license.

“We have four liquor stores, and I think the needs are being met,” he said.