Oklahoma’s New Liquor Laws are Better for Business ­— Or Are They?

State Question 792 leaves rules in the air. Liquor store owners speak up.

Dave & Mikki’s sells liquor, craft beer and wine in Midwest City, Oklahoma. New laws allow them to stay open later, but also add pressure to change their business. JORGE KRZYZANIAK

Dave & Mikki’s sells liquor, craft beer and wine in Midwest City, Oklahoma. New laws allow them to stay open later, but also add pressure to change their business. JORGE KRZYZANIAK

BY JORGE KRZYZANIAK | THE NEW TERRITORY ISSUE 03

The beer is sold warm at Dave & Mikkis, as it has been since the store opened. And the owners wouldn’t necessarily mind if it stayed that way, in spite of Oklahoma’s recently approved State Question 792 (SQ 792). For the first time, Oklahoma allows liquor stores to sell cold beer and wine ­­— overturning a prohibition that had been enshrined in Oklahoma’s state constitution until November 8.

“Of course, we’d love to sell cold beer if we could get a cooler put in easily and we had the money,” says Michelle “Mikki” Sosbee. She owns and operates Dave & Mikki’s with its only other employee, Dave Poe. The two friends are so close they consider each other siblings, and they run the store as a labor of love.

But now that the laws they operated under have changed, they are concerned about its effect on their small business. Where grocery and convenience stores in the past have been permitted only to sell beers and malt beverages of 3.2 percent alcohol by volume or less and were always able to sell this “low-point” beer cold, they will now be able to stock their coolers with strong beer — a privilege formerly reserved to the state’s liquor stores.

Big brewers such as Budweiser and Coors cornered the cold beer market for a long time by producing low-point products sold in large stores. Liquor stores have always gleamed as a bastion of hope for Oklahomans who love exotic imports, micros and craft beers and for the small-time brewers who make them.


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