Eight days after Clay County, N.C. voters approved alcohol sales, Hayesville Aztex convenience store welcomed its first beer shipment, making the store the first to sell beer locally in 60 years, the Clay County Press reported.
The town had been dry since 1949.
By the time the Board of Election certified the results of the Aug. 18 election, Aztex’s permit had made it through the lengthy process required by law, which included the county fire marshal, building inspector, environmental health inspector, town zoning administrator and Clay County sheriff all signing off on the forms. Once the election was certified, the forms were quickly forwarded to the state.
Other stores are close behind Aztex with several already in the alcohol licensing process.
“We are taking steps to secure the permits,” said Josh Haynes, manager of the Hayesville Ingles store. His company is expected to have beer and wine in stock by Sept. 8.
“Talking with other convenience store owners, I estimate that there will be a need for at least a dozen jobs right off the bat,” said Robert Pullman, who owns The Market and is pursuing a permit for his store. “We’ll be seeing restaurants opening up. This will be good for Hayesville.”