Why Did the Liquor Store Cross the Road?

(future site of Stop Lite Liquors, from the Courier-Journal)

To get the other side, of course! Long-time River Road icon Stop Lite Liquors is moving to the south side of the street, to make room for Waterfront Park (story from the C-J):

The business, at the eastern end of Waterfront Park, probably will relocate around October, the owners said. The bulldozers will move in on the current site shortly thereafter.

The existing store has a yellow brick and concrete block exterior decorated with beer signs. One sign welcomes boaters, and another beckons customers with “Hot lunch, cold beer, fast friendly service.”

Almost any morning, Carl Bollinger, one of the operators, can be found in back of the store grilling the hot dogs and hamburgers to be offered as lunch fare.

Mike Kimmel, deputy director of the Waterfront Development Corp., which oversees the park, said the waterfront agency paid $170,000 for the half-acre site adjacent to the park.

Kimmel said the waterfront agency has long considered the liquor store incompatible with the large urban park. He said the agency has no specific plans for the current store’s site and probably will put temporary landscaping in, pending a decision on its long-range use.

The agency also paid $150,000 for the 1.5-acre site on the south side of River Road where the new store is being built. That land has been deeded to the owners of Stop Lite.

Joe Bollinger opened the original Stop Lite in 1958 on the south side of River Road — across from Towhead Island and not far from the current business….

The 1964 flood ravaged the first Stop Lite. The store moved to its current location on the north side of River Road in 1965.

Carl Bollinger said the new store should “work out great” and noted that it will be convenient for downtown workers heading east on River Road in the late afternoon. “We will be on the right side; it will be easier to turn in,” he said.

We think we might’ve bought our first legal six-pack there, but we’re not entirely sure. Either way, it’s heartening to see a creative solution to keep a long-running local business open in this instance.

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