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Moving The Downtown Liquor Store Will Be Complicated, Says DABC Spokesman

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Salt Lake County Mayor Ben McAdams wants to move the downtown liquor store. He hopes it will reduce the flow of alcohol into the troubled Rio Grande neighborhood. Officials at the Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control support the idea but say there are obstacles.

Mayor McAdams sent a letter to DABC Chairman John Nielsen Monday asking him to consider relocating the store on 400 South and 205 West. DABC spokesman Terry Wood says the department has considered the move for years. The building is old and crowded. But, he says they have to find a new location first.

“In other words, when we lock the door on that store, we’d have to be unlocking the door on a new one,” Wood says. “We can’t go without a store downtown. That downtown store is one of our top five biggest money-makers, and that money goes into the state funds.”

And, he says finding property for a new liquor store in Salt Lake City won’t be easy.

“There’s proximity issues, Wood says. “We have to 600 feet from a church or school or library or even a park. And that makes it difficult in Utah to find a good spot where you can locate that’s 600 feet away from all those things.”

Wood adds property in Salt Lake City is expensive. He says the state would likely have to lease. 

Whittney Evans grew up southern Ohio and has worked in public radio since 2005. She has a communications degree from Morehead State University in Morehead, Kentucky, where she learned the ropes of reporting, producing and hosting. Whittney moved to Utah in 2009 where she became a reporter, producer and morning host at KCPW. Her reporting ranges from the hyper-local issues affecting Salt Lake City residents, to state-wide issues of national interest. Outside of work, she enjoys playing the guitar and getting to know the breathtaking landscape of the Mountain West.
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