Forge liquor sales await vote OK

State will issue permits; city can control hours
Nov. 17, 2012 @ 05:18 PM

A few steps remain before Pigeon Forge businesses can begin selling liquor by the drink.

"The Election Commission will need to provide us with the certified election results," Ginna Winfree, a staff attorney with the Tennessee Alcoholic Beverage Commission, wrote in an email. The Alcoholic Beverage Commission issues liquor licenses to businesses that apply for them.

She added that city officials may want to establish ordinances related to liquor by the drink.

"It is dependent on those factors as to how quickly licenses are issued."

Last week, voters approved a measure allowing Pigeon Forge businesses to sell liquor by the drink. The Sevier County Election Commission is slated to certify the result on Monday, Nov. 26. Complaints related to improper votes will not affect the certification process.

Winfree noted that when the Alcoholic Beverage Commission receives an application for a liquor-by-the-drink permit, it usually issues a license about three weeks later.

State law requires liquor sales to end at 3 a.m. Pigeon Forge Mayor David Wear has said he would like the city to cut off liquor sales earlier, at midnight. The Pigeon Forge City Commission could pass a resolution limiting hours.

"We're in the process of reviewing the statutes to see what their options may be," said Pigeon Forge city attorney James L. Gass.

The City Commission meets again on Nov. 26.