Ruston voters overwhelmingly say “yes” to grocery store alcohol sales

The Shreveport Caddo Metropolitan Planning Commission is assessing the city's current liquor...
The Shreveport Caddo Metropolitan Planning Commission is assessing the city's current liquor laws.(Pexels)
Published: Oct. 20, 2022 at 12:20 PM CDT|Updated: Oct. 20, 2022 at 12:23 PM CDT
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RUSTON, La. (KNOE) - The Louisiana Economic Growth Committee, supported by Brookshire’s and Walmart, has turned in their petition to give local grocery retailers a “level playing field” in alcohol sales.

In less than one month, more than 3,300 people signed the petition, and the committee says they believe at least 2,900 of those signatures are City of Ruston registered voters.

By Louisiana law, the committee had 60 days to get 2,454 signatures in order to have an election. The petition has now been submitted to Lincoln Parish Registrar of Voters, Sharon Parnell, who has 30 business days to verify the signatures. The Ruston City Council will be required to order an election if enough of the petition’s signatures are verified.

Hatch Consulting Group was hired to gather signatures for the Committee.

“We want to thank the thousands of Ruston voters who agreed an election should be held,” said John Hatch of Hatch Consulting Group. “We were allowed 60 days and Ruston voters answered the call in less than 30.”

Grocery retailers in Ruston are allowed to sell beer and wine containing only 6% alcohol or less and restaurants are allowed to sell mixed drinks as well as beer and wine. The group says they hope for grocery stores to be able to do the same so that customers will be happy and Ruston could have more business.

“We have customers come in here all the time asking why they can’t buy a nice bottle of wine or spirits,” said Alecia Hill, District Vice President for Super 1 Foods. “We have to tell them we can only sell beer and they have to drive to our store in Grambling or Monroe. They are frustrated and when they leave, we not only lose that customer and potential sale at this store, but they leave and buy everything else at another retailer and Ruston loses out.”