Owner: wet vote reasoning behind store closure

Staff Writer

The Red Gate Liquor Store has withstood a fire and flooding, but Saline County's going wet was a turning point for the business.
The store, which was established 65 years ago, will be closing on June 30.
"It's kind of a bittersweet feeling," said Druetta Craig, the owner of the store.
Most of the customers at the liquor store are Saline County residents, so after voters approved the sale of alcohol within the county, sales at the store dropped in half, Craig said.
Even though she still has some loyal customers who drive to the county line to buy alcohol, many of the customers stopped visiting the store because they could buy alcohol more conveniently close to home.
Craig predicts that in the not too distance future liquor will be sold in big box stores.
This drop in sales was the main reason for the closure, but Craig said she is also ready to retire.
"I'm looking forward to a new direction," she said.
Being from Benton, after the closure, she plans to move to Saline County. She also hopes to do some charity work and travel.
Craig plans to volunteer at the CARTI Cancer Center since her husband received treatment there for skin cancer.
Owning a liquor store can be very demanding and often includes working long hours, but Craig said she will miss all of the loyal customers who have supported her business as well as her quality staff members.
"Red Gate Liquor has always believed that hard work with an emphasis on customer service is the foundation on which we were able to maintain a profitable business for 65 years," she said.
For more information, see today's edition of The Saline Courier