Council to consider alcohol sales by gas stations

By Andrea Fencl - Freeman Staff

June 16, 2017

CITY OF PEWAUKEE - The possibility of beer and alcohol sales at area gas stations will be discussed at the next Common Council meeting at 6:30 p.m. on Monday in the Council Chambers at City Hall, W240-N3065 Pewaukee Road.

Treasurer Kelly Tarczewski said the Kwik Trip No. 396, W229-N2086 Redford Blvd., is petitioning to sell alcoholic beverages at the gas station. The unwritten policy, Tarczewski added, has been for years that no alcohol may be sold at gas stations.

The discussion was brought up at the last council meeting, leaving specifics to be discussed Monday as to what type of alcohol should be sold.

"In order to provide our guests with a full complement and broad array of meal and beverage options, Kwik Trip is considering an addition and remodel of Store 396 in Pewaukee," David Ring, community relations manager for Kwik Trip, said. "We are applying for a Class-A alcohol license in order to sell alcoholic beverages and provide our guests with the convenience and product selection they expect at their local Kwik Trip store."

The Kwik Trip began operating in 2001 and is now looking to add a beer cave and wine/liquor cabinets at the location. Ring said there are a lot of precautions the Kwik Trip would take to ensure safe sales.

"Kwik Trip has a strict Alcohol and Tobacco Sales Policy and conducts in-house compliance checks at all stores," Ring said. "All retail co-workers must complete both our in-house alcohol and tobacco training program upon hire, as well as the four-hour, state-mandated 'Learn2Serve Responsible Beverage Operator Training Program.' These extensive training classes have generated excellent ID check compliance rates."

The beer cave, along with other beer caves in Kwik Trip locations, can be locked electronically through the Communications Center in La Crosse, and the cash register will not allow sales before 6 a.m. or after 9 p.m., as are the regulations in the City of Pewaukee.

Brea Sanders, manager of the BP on Meadowbrook Road, said they're really excited for the possibility.

"We're  the last stop on the lake," Sanders said.

She added when people come, they're looking for snacks, bait and beer. The owner of the BP completed a personal poll, and discovered that a majority of the customers that stopped at the gas station would appreciate being able to purchase beer, along with their other items, all at one stop, Sanders said.

"I can guarantee it'll increase sales," Sanders said.

Personally, Sanders said, she believes the city should have allowed it a long time ago so that the individually owned gas stations in the city could evenly compete with those in the village of Pewaukee.