Indiana's labyrinthine alcohol laws entangle small store – South Bend Tribune

PRAIRIETON, Ind. (AP) — It’s a beautiful summer evening along the Wabash River, one perfect for fishing or porch sitting, when people begin filing indoors at Prairieton’s lone night spot and one of the most unusual venues in Indiana.

The swelling audience at Joan & Yogi’s 1 Stop includes families with small children, middle-aged couples and old folks out by themselves. They are drawn here, to this roadhouse south of Terre Haute, by the $6.99 barbecue chicken special, the chance to share a few beers with friends and the irresistible allure of the spotlight on karaoke night.

“It’s like being at a birthday party,” said 56-year-old Doug Butrum, who will take a shot at a Glen Campbell tune before the night is over. “It’s that kind of atmosphere.”

Karaoke nights are plentiful across the state, and so are the watering holes hosting them. But what makes this one special is that it occurs in one of the few places in Indiana where you can get gas, grab some groceries, have a sit-down meal and leave with cold beer.

“I’m not the type of person who would know what to call an establishment like this,” Butrum said. “But it’s just a very cool place to be.”

Indiana has long been a state built on some essential truths — basketball is king, change is unwelcome, and you can’t get cold beer in a convenience store. But in March, the state’s political establishment convulsed when word came that the Ricker’s convenience store chain had introduced the sale of cold beer at stores in Columbus and Sheridan. Ricker’s managed the feat by offering prepared food on site and having the requisite number of seats to qualify for a restaurant permit, allowing it to

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