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City Denies Family Dollar Liquor Licenses After Community Protests

The city of Louisville has denied liquor licenses to nearly two-dozen Family Dollar stores. This summer, Metro Council members led area residents in protests against the stores’ push to sell malt liquor.

The Louisville Alcoholic Beverage Control administrator Robert Kirchdorfer cited several reasons for the denials in letters to the stores, including public sentiment, adverse health effects on impoverished areas and existing saturation of malt beverage-license retailers. In some cases, there were 10 to 33 licensed retailers within a mile of the store applying for the license.

In the case of a store at 1419 W. Jefferson Street, in the Russell neighborhood, Kirchdorfer wrote that the neighborhood is "on the brink of a renaissance."

Metro Council President David James, who represents neighborhoods including Park Hill and California, said he is overjoyed at the outcome. He said Family Dollar stores selling alcohol would hurt neighborhoods.

“The impact that they will have on continuing efforts by Metro Government to improve those areas would be negative," James said. "So they wouldn’t serve a positive purpose for the community to have an additional package retail outlet in those areas.”

Family Dollar now has until Oct. 21 to appeal the decision to the state’s alcohol licensing board. A spokeswoman did not immediately respond to a request for comment Friday afternoon.

"We are simply trying to provide our customers with a convenient option to purchase adult beverages while shopping for their everyday needs," she wrote in an email to WFPL in July.

Amina Elahi is LPM's City Editor. Email Amina at aelahi@lpm.org.