One of the longstanding realities of Indiana alcohol laws is that the only beer customers can find in a convenience store is beer that’s warm. But the Indiana-based Ricker’s found a loophole. Mykal McEldowney/IndyStar
Cold beer is kept in coolers behind the counter at a Ricker’s convenience store in Columbus, Ind., Thursday, March 23, 2017. Servers must bring the beer to a patron’s table in the store’s restaurant area. After the chain’s lawyers realized the in-store restaurants qualified for cold beer sales, this Ricker’s location and one in Sheridan, Ind., obtained the required licenses to serve cold beer to patrons for consumption in the restaurant or to-go. The Columbus location also sells liquor for consumption outside of the restaurant. To many in the liquor store industry, Ricker’s use of this loophole seems like an attempt to cut into an area that has previously been domain of liquor stores, which are subject to additional regulations.(Photo: Jenna Watson/IndyStar)Buy Photo
Lead lawmakers’ latest attempt to prohibit the sale of cold beer in convenience stores would let Ricker’s keep selling carryout beer until next April.
That would give lawmakers further time to take action in the 2018 legislative session — and sets the stage for another alcohol law fight next year.
Jay Ricker, the owner of the Indiana convenience store chain, says the legislation effectively targets just him. The language in the updated bill grandfathers in any stores that obtained a restaurant liquor license prior to November 2016.
Ricker’s obtained its own permits later in November and a second one in December, just barely missing the cutoff point.
Other known convenience stores in Indiana, such as Joan & Yogi’s One Stop in Terre Haute and Fishtail