Joe P. Asher
Approximately two years after the city of Harlan passed an ordinance allowing restaurants with a capacity of over a hundred to serve alcohol, Harlan Station, formerly Ken and Paul’s Steakhouse, has become the first restaurant in the city limits to offer alcoholic beverages.
A telephone call to Harlan Station verified the establishment is currently only serving beer. The establishment may begin serving mixed drinks at a later date but no liquor is currently available. A second call verified the restaurant is limiting customers to two to three beers per customer.
The principle owner, CV Bennett, reserved comment until the official grand opening of Harlan Station.
Executive Director of the Harlan Tourist and Convention Commission Brandon Pennington believes introducing alcohol sales will have a positive effect.
“I believe it will be something that’s going to attract a lot of tourists to our restaurant that does serve alcohol,” said Pennington. “I think it’s going to have a positive impact on the revenue the restaurant is bringing in, and that will have a positive impact on our tourism tax.”
Pennington said he doesn’t see a downside as long as regulations are followed.
“As long as the restaurants are staying within the law, I see no negative impact,” said Pennington.
Though this is the first license granted to a restaurant, it is the second alcohol license in the city. The Harlan Center received the first license, but only serves alcohol at catered events held at the center.
Harlan Police Chief Mike Thomas serves as the Alcoholic Beverage Administrator for the city of Harlan.
In an interview conducted at an earlier date, Thomas said there are regulations that must be followed in order to obtain a license to sell alcoholic beverages.
“Background checks with the managers and owners, the servers have to have S.T.A.R. (Server Training in Alcohol Regulations) training through the state,” Thomas explained in an earlier report. “That’s about responsible serving, how to recognize the effects of intoxication and cut people off, checking for IDs and making sure people are 21, that sort of thing. There’s a monthly reporting form. They turn [the report] in by the twentieth of the month. That verifies the 70/30 and the 5 percent taxes that they have to pay the city.”
According to the city’s ordinance, only 30 percent of an establishment’s income can be from alcohol sales.
Reach Joe P. Asher at 606-573-4510 or firstname.lastname@example.org