Judge finalizes order letting grocers sell liquor and wine; appeal expected

jcheves@herald-leader.comAugust 21, 2012 

A separate shop with its own entrance sold wine and spirits at the Kroger in Lexington's Beaumont Centre in this 2012 file photo.


A federal judge issued his final order Tuesday in a case allowing Kentucky grocery stores to sell wine and liquor. But don't rush to the store for happy hour just yet.

U.S. District Judge John Heyburn II in Louisville said he'll give the parties in the case until Sept. 5 to file motions requesting a stay of enforcement of his order and until Sept. 20 to file responses to those motions. An appeal, which is considered likely, could keep the order on hold for months.

On Aug. 14, Heyburn struck down as unconstitutional a Kentucky law letting grocery and convenience stores sell beer but not wine or distilled spirits. Under current law, groceries may obtain a license to sell wine and liquor if they provide a separate entrance to that part of the store, where minors are not allowed to work. Such requirements do not apply to drugstores.

Maxwell's Pic-Pac Inc. of Louisville and the Food and Wine Coalition sued the state Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control last year to challenge the law.

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