By Ashley Rader
The owners of Elizabethton’s three future liquor stores were determined at a special called City Council meeting: William “Bill” Armstrong, Billy Chappell and Carl R. Nidiffer and Charles G. Bridges were each awarded one of the three liquor store licenses.
Six applications were considered.
Armstrong will be opening Eastside Liquor and Wine at 1201 19E Bypass; Chappell will own Lighthouse Wine and Liquor at 1933 W. Elk Ave.; and Nidiffer and Bridges will have Doe River Wine and Spirits LLC at 630 Broad St.
Other applicants for the licenses were Roy Hyder, Chris Joker and Shane Wilcox and Don Wilcox.
The permits were awarded one at a time: Councilman Bob Cable nominated Armstrong for the first.
Mayor Curt Alexander said that when he was reviewing the applications, one of the first things he considered was their financial statements. He said he looked at the available cash flow and not just the applicant’s net worth to see if they could support a business.
He said he believed Armstrong would make a good candidate for that reason and also because his proposed location was a good one for the city.
Councilman Richard Tester said he thought all six applicants would be successful. He said the need for minimizing the number of stores in the city came from the desire to maximize revenues and the possibility of success for the stores.
“The nature of this business is a competitive one,” Tester said. “Retail liquor stores have to be able to compete in the market, especially when most people are able to drive within minutes to one of the most successful liquor stores in the state.”