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Archive for Monday, December 27, 2010

First liquor store in Overbrook opens for business

Scott Bronoski, of Lawrence, opened Overbrook Spirits on Monday, lifting almost 125 years of the town’s lifelong prohibition on packaged liquor sales. Overbrook had been one of five communities statewide to approve laws maintaining the prohibition until a public vote this past November repealed it.

Scott Bronoski, of Lawrence, opened Overbrook Spirits on Monday, lifting almost 125 years of the town’s lifelong prohibition on packaged liquor sales. Overbrook had been one of five communities statewide to approve laws maintaining the prohibition until a public vote this past November repealed it.

December 27, 2010

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Overbrook Spirits owner Scott Bronoski talks about owning the town's first liquor store

Scott Bronoski opened Overbrook Spirits Dec. 27 with the goal of serving local patrons now that Overbrook is no longer a "dry town." Overbrook voters lifted the long-time "dry town" designation with a 53 to 47 percent vote in November. Enlarge video

Scott Bronoski, of Lawrence, opened Overbrook Spirits on Monday, lifting almost 125 years of the town’s lifelong prohibition on packaged liquor sales. Overbrook had been one of five communities statewide to approve laws maintaining the prohibition until a public vote this past November repealed it.

Scott Bronoski, of Lawrence, opened Overbrook Spirits on Monday, lifting almost 125 years of the town’s lifelong prohibition on packaged liquor sales. Overbrook had been one of five communities statewide to approve laws maintaining the prohibition until a public vote this past November repealed it.

— Scratch Overbrook off the state’s short list of “dry” towns.

Tuesday afternoon, Scott Bronoski unlocked the doors of a former garage, plugged in a new computer system and welcomed more than a dozen guys to stock shelves, post prices and otherwise handle details that come with lifting the nearly 125-year-old community’s lifelong prohibition on packaged liquor sales.

Overbrook Spirits is open for business.

“Everybody said we couldn’t, just couldn’t, get it done, that it wouldn’t happen,” said Bronoski, who lives in Lawrence. “I don’t care about the money. This is more to prove a point.”

Bronoski, who farms land and raises cattle on land southwest of Clinton Lake, invested $50,000 in a former car lot along U.S. Highway 56, then dropped $30,000 to $40,000 on inventory: cases of beer, bottles of champagne and seemingly countless varieties of hard liquor that normally would have been out of reach for Overbrook’s 950 residents and their rural neighbors.

No more need to cruise to Carbondale, bolt to Baldwin City or trek to Topeka for packaged liquor. Overbrook is about 18 miles southwest of Lawrence.

“It’s a good feeling,” said Mike Gowin, eyeing a bottle of Gentleman Jack before heading to his residence just south of Overbrook. “You can get into town and get back home without running around for half the day.”

Bronoski’s business venture required persistence. Overbrook had been among only five communities statewide — Moundridge, Parkerfield, Hesston and North Newton are the others — to approve laws maintaining their prohibitions on selling packaged liquor.

That changed after Bronoski led a petition drive, leading to a public vote this past November that resulted in 222 votes for repealing the prohibition against 160 in favor of keeping it. The Overbrook City Council then repealed its law, giving Bronoski about 30 days to get his place renovated — thanks, Nathan Averill — in time to launch operations for New Year’s, one of the biggest sales weekends of the year.

“It’s a good time to open,” said Tom Groneman, director of Kansas’ Division of Alcoholic Beverage Control.

Overbrook Spirits now joins another 750 such stores statewide, ones that together generate sales of more than $685 million per year.

“It’s part of what society today just views as a standard and normal business in a community,” Mayor Don Schultz said.

Bronoski is counting on Overbrook residents shopping on their way back from work, people from nearby towns escaping judgmental glances back home, and recreational visitors loading up on their way out to Pomona Lake.

That’s the business plan, anyway, for absorbing as much revenue as possible within a formerly dry town.

“I did this as a fun thing, more or less,” Bronoski said. “Now it’s stressing me out.”

Comments

Michael Capra 3 years, 7 months ago

everyone fought u hard with there small town bs.good for you and nathan now take the town over and fire the half horse cop then u should be fine good luck in 2011

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farmgal 3 years, 7 months ago

this will be really handy for an old friend of mine. after he gets done sippin' his coffee and pinchin' the gals at the local cafe, he can head on over and pick up his jack daniels before heading home to check on the cows.

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FarneyMac 3 years, 7 months ago

Welcome to the 20th century, Overbrook.

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Ernest Barteldes 3 years, 7 months ago

I never understood 'dry counties.' Cmon, the Volsted Act was revoked over sixty years ago...

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newmedia 3 years, 7 months ago

I hope there is a back door for the locals to use so they won't be seen !

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Stuart Evans 3 years, 7 months ago

in related news, alcohol was directly responsible for 100,000 deaths this year, and countless incidents of abuse. meanwhile, cannabis users are arrested, and labeled as a felon, effectively destroying all chances for education funding and decent employment. But as long as the 750 package liquor stores continue to provide $700 million per year in sales, it's all ok.

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Ernest Barteldes 3 years, 7 months ago

I know.... anti marijuana laws are ridiculous. But dry laws are too.

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DillonBarnes 3 years, 7 months ago

OUTLAW CARS TOO.

It's obviously the object that causes the problem, therefore we must attack the object. Alcoholism and bad decisions are the fault of alcohol. Remove alcohol and we'll see world peace.

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lounger 3 years, 7 months ago

Oh yes-nice point AreUNorml!

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KU_Dude 3 years, 7 months ago

Is there a drive through window?

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libra101 3 years, 7 months ago

This is the best news I've heard in weeks. No more 20 mile drives to a liquor store!!

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bookemdano 3 years, 7 months ago

Great! How about next you allow me to buy wine or >3.2% beer in a grocery store?

Asking too much, I know.

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Judgesmails 3 years, 7 months ago

After a hard day of churning butter, shoein' horses and mendin' fences you can now relax with a real alcoholic beverage!

Be careful with that devil water, Overbrookians.

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George_Braziller 3 years, 7 months ago

Door to door delivery is illegal. Even if a liquor store is doing the purchasing for a bar or restaurant the order has to be picked up at the store.

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Stuart Evans 3 years, 7 months ago

I don't believe that's accurate. In fact, I'm sure that it's not. After all, there's an awful lot of beer delivery trucks on the road for a product that can't be bought off-premises. Additionally, the law reads that off-premises salespersons must be licensed, but delivery drivers are not required to be. http://www.ksrevenue.org/abcsalesper.htm

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