First Liquor Store to Open in Almost 70 Years

HUNTSVILLE, AR-- For the first time in almost 70 years, Madison County residents can buy liquor without crossing county lines.

Owner of Luck of the Draw Liquor Store, Brent Hargis, said "I think it was a long time coming."

David Pemberton with Huntsville Chamber of Commerce believes opening the liquor store will help the community.

Pemberton said, "It will increase the tax base because that's sales tax that we're collecting locally instead of being spent in other counties. Instead of a vacant lot we are getting property taxes on a building."

Local businessman Brent Hargis is making his mark, setting up shop in Huntsville and betting on his latest lucky card.

"We were one of the lucky three to draw a liquor permit for Madison County," Hargis said.

Pemberton said, "Based on our population we are aloud three. This is the first permittee that has opened."

Co-owners Brent and Betty Jo Hargis are big believers in boosting sales locally. They opened the store on Monday with beer, wine, and liquor from local vendors.

Hargis said, "they are shopping here and in turn that means they are going to buy groceries here, they are going to buy their gas here."

The couple is hoping shoppers bet on business... not only for their store, but for other small shops in the city.

Hargis said, "I can safely say that when it comes to small businesses I'm all about trying to help each other out."

"Build a fence around the county... to try and keep as much money locally as we can," Pemberton said.

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