TRINITY, N.C. (WGHP) — “How long it will take to quench my thirst?” That’s the question some people living in Trinity are asking, eight months after voters took to the polls demanding beer and wine be sold at local stores.
The city of Trinity sits about four miles south of High Point. During the 2020 election, roughly 4,000 voters decided it was time they could buy alcohol within city limits.
Some people living here didn’t think being able to crack open a cold one would be so hard.
“I didn’t think it would take this long for them to get them in stores,” Carlene Garrison said.
Garrison said it’s ridiculous she has to drive to neighboring cities like Archdale, Thomasville, or High Point, to get a case of beer or a bottle of wine.
“Like five miles away at the least,” Garrison said.
The only thing stopping them from getting a drink…
“There’s a lot more red tape than we thought we’d be cutting through,” said James Underhill, at Big Jim’s Grocery Store.
City officials said the ABC Commission’s approval process is slow and deliberate.
“It has to be inspected by the county and then it has to go through a credit check, then a law enforcement check, and then back to us,” said Debbie Hinson, Trinity city manager.
Pair that with local government having backed up logs due to COVID restrictions and that’s why it’s taking so long.
So far, only Sheetz and Dollar General have started the official process.
Underhill is planning to apply for a permit for his store.
He said he’s been advocating for years for stores like his to be able to sell beer in Trinity.
“We do know one day we’re going to be able to put that great hot dog in everybody’s hand as well as that cold, cold beer,” Underhill said.
Not everyone in town is happy about it no longer being a dry town.
“I just don’t think it’s necessary,” Robin Somero said.
City leaders said as residential expansion continues, they are in the process of recruiting the right restaurants that could be eligible to get alcohol licenses too.
As far as Sheetz’s approval, Hinson believes the city will approve them by the end of August. The process then heads back to the ABC Commission for final approval.