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Where's my margarita? Middelton's "Liquor by the Drink" not a done deal ... yet

City council will need to set up rules for the change
Posted at 11:43 AM, Nov 20, 2023

  • Middleton approved Liquor by the Drink in the recent election ending its status as a semi dry town.
  • Bars will have to wait for the city council to write up a new ordinance to begin selling alcohol.
  • Middleton city council is expected to take up the issue at its meeting in early December.

The thrill of election night was palpable in Middleton.
In a city that had been semi-dry for literally decades, November 7 brought voters to the polls in support of local businesses and happy hour, and approved the city being able to sell liquor by the drink.

"For all intents and purposes, [the measure] passed overwhelmingly," said Canyon County Public Information Officer Joe Decker.

"The biggest turnout seemed to be in Middleton because of liquor by the drink," -who said this?

Proponents of the measure said it would keep money in the classic old city.

One of two bars in Middleton is The Vault. It's in an old bank building and they're hoping that once they get their liquor license, their vault will be full of cash.

In speaking with Gabriel Balderas, co-owner of the Vault, he believes the new ordinance will double their profits. "Just with beer, it's been excellent. But with liquor, it's probably going to be more than double."

However, the lack of experience in selling libations by the drink within the city limits has left some unanswered questions on how to get the whole thing going.

Regardless of the visions of additional profits, the actual ability to sell liquor by the glass, in reality, is still a ways off.

Adam Kenyon, owner of The Chapp, says he called the city the very next morning to find out what the process will be to get liquor sales authorization, only to be met without any answers. "They were somewhat clueless. They didn't have answers for me," said Kenyon.

The city says it requires information from the city attorney before drafting an ordinance and setting up rules to accommodate liquor sales by the drink, and that all takes time.

"Yesterday, I had a lady come in and ask 'Can I get some rum?' or whatever with their lunch. I was like, Sorry," said Kenyon.

Kenyon says he's expecting seven or eight establishments to start serving liquor in Middleton once they are able to get licenses.

The next city council meeting is set for December, making it a tight turnaround for the city to get the process in place in time to allow liquor by the drink in local establishments for the holidays.