WAYNESBORO, Ga. (WJBF)– Waynesboro has not allowed the sale of liquor within city limits until now.
“We have people when they come in, especially our older generation, they say, ‘I cannot believe this is finally here in Burke County. It has been a long time coming, and we just can’t believe we’re finally here to see it,'” said owner of Bird Dog Beverages, Jennifer Harper.
The City of Waynesboro was dry for many years, but that changed in May when City Council unanimously voted to allow the sale of alcohol.
In June, Bird Dog Beverages was the first to open.
“From day one, everybody started flocking down there and they’re still coming to it today. If you go around there, you’ll see cars going in and out, people pulling in, going in. It has been successful,” resident Robert Hooper said.
Hooper says part of the liquor store’s success is the convenience of shopping close to home.
“I like the place. Being that you don’t have to go to Gerard, you don’t have to go to McBean, it’s good that we have it right here in Waynesboro,” Hooper said.
The next liquor store to open was Burke Beverage Outlet.
“It’s a decent amount of people because it’s still new. A lot of people still don’t know that there are liquor stores in Waynesboro. They’re like, ‘Oh wow. A liquor store in Waynesboro.’ They’re still surprised to have one,” owner Nadeem Hirani said.
Hirani says as word gets out, he expects his business to boom.
“I think it’s going to grow because people are adapted to driving all the way to Augusta to buy their liquor and slowly they realize there are stores in town so they’ll quit doing that and do the business in town instead,” Hirani said.
Two other liquor stores have been proposed to Waynesboro City Council. Liquor stores must be located a certain distance from churches, schools, and parks, so for now, one store is tabled and the other has been denied.