Clovis News

Clovis OKs later liquor sales

A convenience store owner will be allowed to sell alcoholic beverages later at night but not smaller containers of hard liquor, Clovis City Council members decided Monday night.

George Beal, owner of the Johnny Quik franchise, will now be allowed to sell alcoholic beverages until 2 a.m. A permit approved by the council in 2008 had kept him from selling alcohol after midnight at his store at Temperance and Alluvial avenues.

He appealed to the City Council after the Planning Commission in September opposed later sales. Clovis police also had opposed the request to permit later liquor sales and sales of liquor in smaller containers.

Police Capt. Vince Leonardo said police-related issues begin to spike just before midnight, which is why police want to limit sales.

Leonardo told council members they should not change the permit because the northeast Clovis business also sells fuel and is the final stop in town for motorists heading into the foothills.

But Beal noted that a store in Prather, which is governed by Fresno County regulations, can sell liquor until 2 a.m. He also said he expects more business later at night from employees of the nearby Clovis Community Medical Center, which is expanding.

Beal said he had no plans to sell smaller containers of hard liquor but wanted to amend the permit in case an employee accidentally sold a sample container.

Since the store opened two years ago, police have had no calls for service related to alcoholic beverage use, Leonardo said.

But when a business is sold, there is no guarantee that a new owner will be as responsible, Leonardo said.

The city cannot place a condition on a new owner because a permit attaches to the business, not the owner, said David Wolfe, the city's attorney.