Pulaski County line liquor store closing after 65 years in business
A liquor store located on the Pulaski and Saline County line is going out of business. They say sales have dwindled after voters chose to allow liquor stores into Saline County.
Red Gate Liquor has been in business for 65 years, but owner Druetta Craig says recently they've seen a major decrease in business.
"It's going be a sad time, but it's the right time,” Craig said.
Craig’s father in law Arlin Craig opened the store on Highway 5 in 1952. Two years later they moved to its current location Interstate 30.
"The interstate was not even built at that time. All we had was one little street,” Craig said.
It’s remained a family owned and operated business.
"That's probably part of our secret to success I think,” Craig said.
Located on the Pulaski County line, they've always supplied liquor for neighboring Saline which is a dry county. But in 2014 voters approved a ballot measure legalizing the sale of liquor.
"When they decided to wet the county, it took a lot of my customer base,” Craig said.
Now 18 stores are in the county.
"Well you know after the first four or five opened we always said, there's a pie and each one is a small piece. Our pie is getting divided more and more, the more stores that open and it was just time to give it up,” Craig said.
Craig says they were also worried about a bill recently passed in the legislature allowing the sale of all wines at grocery stores. She says that will hurt other liquor stores. For her, a good time to retire.
"I will miss all of my customers. It's just been a wonderful business,” Craig said.
Red Gate Liquor is having a closing sale until everything is gone. Craig is also selling the land on which it sits. They own all the land from the overpass to the I-30 Speedway. She calls the land a “gold mine.”
She plans to sell the liquor permit the store now holds.