Cave Spring voters overwhelmingly approved liquor sales Tuesday, clearing the way for a micro-distillery in a historic building in the heart of the city.
“It means a lot for downtown Cave Spring for tourism,” said Sandra Lindsey, executive director of the Downtown Development Authority. “It means a lot that they’re going to be rehabbing that building ... and it means Cave Spring is progressive.”
There were four ballot questions, all dealing with distilled spirits.
Elections Supervisor Judy Dickinson said sales by the drink passed 165 to 34 and package sales passed 163 to 35.
Voters also approved Sunday sales by the package, 155 to 43, and by the drink, 152 to 45.
The City Council is scheduled to meet next week to draw up a regulating ordinance that will set the effective date. The city already allows beer and wine sales by the package and drink.
Council members have been reviewing ordinances from other Georgia cities with an eye to incorporating some of the elements such as food-to-drink sales ratios, special-events licensing and limits on locations and signage.
Permit fees and accommodations for new business models such as brew pubs will likely be part of the discussion.
Lindsey said she texted the “soon-to-be owners of the distillery” as soon as the votes were counted and they are excited to get to work.
“It will still be a while before they can open. They had to wait for the vote,” she said.
Caney McStotts and Garrett Rothman plan to tap the city’s famed natural spring to make flavored distilled spirits. They’ll sell the product under the label Cave Spring Distilling Co. and offer tours and tastings onsite.