Booze business bucks: what alcohol sales are generating for once - ABC 33/40 - Birmingham News, Weather, Sports

Booze business bucks: what alcohol sales are generating for once dry cities

Posted: Updated:
  • Related LinksMore>>

  • Some police reporting fewer DUIs in once dry cities

    Some police reporting fewer DUIs in once dry cities

    Friday, July 11 2014 11:15 PM EDT2014-07-12 03:15:38 GMT
    Many people believe alcohol is one of society's ills. A wet vote has yet to be taken in this state without arguments about alcohol sales leading to more drunk drivers, more violence and more alcoholism. But several police departments say it's actually made cities safer.More >>
    Many people believe alcohol is one of society's ills. A wet vote has yet to be taken in this state without arguments about alcohol sales leading to more drunk drivers, more violence and more alcoholism. But several police departments say it's actually made cities safer.More >>
CULLMAN - AL - Alcohol is flowing through more Alabama cities and counties every year. Since 2009, nearly 20 dry areas have voted on alcohol sales. New tax money is now pouring into a dozen cities that said "yes" to the sales. ABC 33/40 takes a look at the impact it's had on Cullman.

A sign outside Italian eatery Grumpy's advertises karaoke night on a Pepsi banner. If you go to the back of the restaurant, you'll find the local watering hole.

"If we were able to put signs out, I wouldn't anyway," said Tyler Jacobs, owner of Grumpy's Down Under.

That banner and word of mouth is all Jacobs needs to get customers inside for some microbrewed beer and some time at the karaoke mic. Grumpy's Down Under opened after Cullman voters OK'd alcohol sales in 2011.

"Right off the bat, it was slam busy every night Monday through Sunday. We didn't have a slow night," said Jacobs.
 
Busy Bee Cafe, the city's oldest restaurant, changed its menu and installed taps to serve beer.

"When it first started, we had just a few negative remarks. It's been mostly positive. It's done nothing but increase business," said Busy Bee owner Kitty Spears.

Spears was also able to get a few thousand dollars through a city facade project to redo the store front, a project that was paid for by tax dollars from alcohol sales.

"I think it can't do nothing but beautify Cullman, make Cullman better," she said.

Money has also gone to the health department, United Way, Good Samaritan, the library and the Cullman Regional Medical Center, which is receiving $180,000 over the next five years to update its patient rooms.

"It's been proven aesthetics in a room help with healing. We want patients to be comfortable as they can," said Maria Stanford, executive director of the CRMC Foundation.

A 56 percent state tax and a six-percent sales tax are already factored into the retail price of alcohol. For every $10 in alcohol sales, the state receives just over $7 while the City of Cullman and Cullman County get 29 cents and 10 cents, respectively. In 2012, the county hauled in $130,000 in revenue from alcohol sales.

But there's still a lot of buzz about booze and many who opposed it at the polls years ago still do.

"I think everyone sees the difference. When you go into a restaurant and see drink specials on the wall where it used by a meal special," said Ken Allen, pastor of Eastside Baptist Church.

The church has offered assistance for alcoholism in the past. Allen still has concerns about alcohol in Cullman

"There's going to be some ramifications from increased availability of alcohol," he said.

Allen isn't alone. Many others still feel that way. An anti-booze group was created on Facebook last year, and now it's pushing for a dry vote.

Tonight on ABC 33/40 News at 10, we'll take a look at some of the major concerns over alcohol sales, including a possible spike in abuse and drunk driving. Watch the newscast on air or live online by clicking here.

  • Central Alabama NewsMore>>

  • Connecticut dad accidentally delivers baby into toilet

    Connecticut dad accidentally delivers baby into toilet

    Tuesday, July 29 2014 2:10 PM EDT2014-07-29 18:10:44 GMT
    A Connecticut baby has arrived with a splash, right into a toilet bowl.More >>
    A Connecticut baby has arrived with a splash, right into a toilet bowl.
    More >>
  • Girl who was struck by plane that crashed on Florida beach dies

    Girl who was struck by plane that crashed on Florida beach dies

    Tuesday, July 29 2014 11:44 AM EDT2014-07-29 15:44:39 GMT
    A 9-year-old girl who was struck by a plane that crash-landed on a beach while she vacationed with her family has died from her injuries, law enforcement officials in Florida said Tuesday.More >>
    A 9-year-old girl who was struck by a plane that crash-landed on a beach while she vacationed with her family has died from her injuries, law enforcement officials in Florida said Tuesday.
    More >>
  • Israel hits symbols of Hamas rule, scores killed

    Israel hits symbols of Hamas rule, scores killed

    Tuesday, July 29 2014 11:42 AM EDT2014-07-29 15:42:06 GMT
    Israel escalated its military campaign against Hamas on Tuesday, striking symbols of the militant group's control in Gaza and firing tank shells that Palestinian officials said shut down the strip's only power plant in the heaviest bombardment in the war so far.More >>
    Israel escalated its military campaign against Hamas on Tuesday, striking symbols of the militant group's control in Gaza and firing tank shells that Palestinian officials said shut down the strip's only power plant in the heaviest bombardment in the war so far.
    More >>
  • Birmingham Area NewsMore>>

  • Children flee Pinson home as man breaks in Monday morning

    Children flee Pinson home as man breaks in Monday morning

    Tuesday, July 29 2014 12:44 PM EDT2014-07-29 16:44:31 GMT
    Around 11:30 Monday morning deputies responded to a report of a burglary in progress at a home in the 5200block of Highland Trace Circle in Pinson. A 14 year old girl and her 9 year old brother were home alone when a manthey did not know began breaking in to their house. They called their mother and she contacted the Sheriff's Office.The children ran from the home to a neighbor's residence.Deputies arrived to see 50 year old William Robert Thomas of Birmingham climbing out of a window. Upon s...More >>
    Around 11:30 Monday morning deputies responded to a report of a burglary in progress at a home in the 5200block of Highland Trace Circle in Pinson. A 14 year old girl and her 9 year old brother were home alone when a manthey did not know began breaking in to their house. They called their mother and she contacted the Sheriff's Office.The children ran from the home to a neighbor's residence.Deputies arrived to see 50 year old William Robert Thomas of Birmingham climbing out of a window. Upon s...More >>
  • Woman who was set on fire by boyfriend dies, detectives seeking capital murder charges

    Woman who was set on fire by boyfriend dies, detectives seeking capital murder charges

    Tuesday, July 29 2014 11:22 AM EDT2014-07-29 15:22:44 GMT
    The Jefferson County Sheriff's Office says 49 year old Deborah Diane Prater died early Tuesday morning. She's been hospitalized since Sunday with extensive burns. Her ex-boyfriend is accused of setting her on fire and may now face capital murder charges.More >>
    The Jefferson County Sheriff's Office says 49 year old Deborah Diane Prater died early Tuesday morning. She's been hospitalized since Sunday with extensive burns. Her ex-boyfriend is accused of setting her on fire and may now face capital murder charges.More >>
  • Homewood City Council denies hotel an extension to continue operating

    Homewood City Council denies hotel an extension to continue operating

    Tuesday, July 29 2014 9:11 AM EDT2014-07-29 13:11:45 GMT
    A Homewood hotel plagued by problems must close by the end of the week. City leaders considered an extension for America's Best Value Inn and Suites, but denied the request.More >>
    A Homewood hotel plagued by problems must close by the end of the week. City leaders considered an extension for America's Best Value Inn and Suites, but denied the request.More >>
Most Popular
Stories
Videos
loading...