GRAYSON -- Grayson will soon have its first packaged beer, wine and liquor establishment following approval by the City Council on Tuesday night.
"This is a big economic generator for the city of Grayson," said Richard Tucker, spokesman for the winning applicant, his wife, Margaret B. Tucker.
The winner was chosen after the Council heard presentations from three applicants.
The others were Joe Kalish and Heather Weaver.
"I wish we could issue three licenses," Mayor Jim Hinkle said. "We had three good applicants."
He said he considers this award a "watershed" in Grayson's history.
"We have progressed in the past 10 to 12 years, and we hope to continue to grow."
Richard Tucker, former president of the Gwinnett County Chamber of Commerce, said the selection process was "transparent and fair." "People in Grayson wanted a package store here," he said.
The Council last month approved accepting applications for a license to sell packaged distilled spirits, which was approved by voters in the November election. Sales will be permitted in the Grayson Highway Overlay District, which has been rezoned to M-1.
The Tuckers operate the Beverage Superstore in Suwanee. For the Grayson store, Tucker said he hopes to capture the turn-of-the-century architecture when Grayson was started. Plans are for a 14,600-square-foot granite and brick building on 2.83 acres.
"We anticipate the store in Grayson to be like the one in Suwanee," he said, adding that beer and wine tastings are included in his proposal, along with volume product sales.
"We hope to build a building the Council can take pride in," Tucker said. "We will contribute a lot to the local tax base."
Stuart Overman, attorney and spokesman for Joe Kalish, said his client offered a first-class, high-end operation, with no tobacco sold on premises.
"We can build a first-class building that the city deserves," Overman said, adding that there would be no sales on Sunday had his client been awarded the license.
The application of Russ and Heather Weaver offered a building site with access to Ga. Highway 20 with frontage on Herring Road. Their proposal was for a 16,000-square-foot building using an upper floor and basement. The Weavers, operators of a bottle shop in Madison, also offered a wine-tasting room.
"This is our first foray into a situation with package stores," Mayor Hinkle said. "We want to do it right so the citizens of Grayson will be proud. We want it to benefit the city."
In other business, Hinkle and Councilwomen Allison Rooks and Katie Mitchell received the oath of office by Superior Court Judge Tom Davis following the November city election.