State Alcoholic Beverage Control Board Approves AC Liquor Store

Jul 10, 2019

AC Liquor Store receives state approval to reopen in Bethel.
Credit Geraldine Brink / KYUK

The state Alcoholic Beverage Control Board unanimously approved a liquor license transfer to the Northwest Company, doing business locally as Alaska Commercial Company, or AC. AC bought the license from Cezary Maczynski of Kusko Liquor. The approval comes with stipulations that include fire marshal approval and a background check of AC ownership. 

Some board members had reservations, like Charlie Cross from Nome who pointed out that AC’s liquor store would impact nearby villages.

“One of the overriding concerns becomes proximity.” Cross said. “Legal in Bethel; illegal an hour away. That brings all sorts of social issues.”

AC presented a list of promises detailing how it would reduce the negative impacts of selling liquor in Bethel. Among them were a two-bottle-per-day limit, a sell-to list, and reduced business hours.

Board Vice-Chair Glenn Brady told AC, “I want to applaud you on the work you’ve done to try to rectify the past issues.”

Last year, the board refused to renew AC’s liquor license after the community protested AC’s first liquor store. Now, with a new location and new business practices, AC prepares for its second attempt at selling alcohol in Bethel.