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Bethel's Main AC Store Applies For The Town's Final Liquor Store License

Dean Swope

The competition continues to increase for Bethel’s third and final liquor store license. Three businesses are now submitting applications, the most recent being the Alaska Commercial Company's main store. The other two businesses are Bethel Liquor Store LLC, which would replace Fili’s Pizza Restaurant, and Kusko Liquor, which would replace Cezary’s Auto Body and Paint Shop.

The Bethel City Council protested a previous liquor store application from the main AC store last year because it was too close to two churches and because a 2010 public vote showed a lack of community support for alcohol sales. That protest came in April, before a subsequent community advisory vote showed a majority of voters supported opening a liquor store and before the city council overhauled the town’s liquor laws, including the required distance between liquor stores and churches.

Alaska Commercial Company already holds one liquor store license in Bethel at its AC Quickstop. The store opened in May and marked the Kuskokwim hub’s first liquor store in four decades.

Bethel’s one other liquor store license belongs to Bethel Native Corporation’s Bethel Spirits. BNC opened its store only 30 days this fall, the length of time required to keep its liquor license.

Anna Rose MacArthur is the KYUK News Director. She has worked at KYUK since 2015 and previously worked at KNOM in Nome, Alaska.