Petitioner: Dacula Package Store Would Be ‘Finest Store in Georgia’
Russ Weaver hopes to convince Dacula voters of the benefit of allowing a package store within the city limits.
Russ Weaver acknowledges there has traditionally been a certain stigma associated with package stores.
That stigma, Weaver said, will not apply to the store he hopes to open in Dacula.
“This store is going to be the finest store in Georgia,” Weaver said.
Weaver has begun a petition drive in hopes of securing enough signatures from Dacula voters to have a package store referendum placed on the November ballot. Should he obtain enough signatures and should the referendum succeed, Weaver hopes to secure a license to open a $2 million, 8,000-square-foot store in Dacula.
Weaver and his wife Heather unsuccessfully applied for a package store license in Loganville earlier this year, losing out to Suwanee businessman Richard Tucker. Though Weaver was disappointed with the outcome, he decided to try once more.
“I’m not bitter about that at all,” he said. “It opened my eyes to the opportunity that lay right there in Dacula.”
Now Weaver hopes to convince Dacula voters of the opportunity the store presents for the city. According to Weaver, conservative estimates place annual sales tax revenue from a store such as the one he is proposing at $600,000 -- an amount roughly equal to what the City of Dacula currently collects in property tax revenues.
“That’s money, right now, that is leaving that town,” Weaver explained.
Weaver has been in the package store business for the past seven years. He and his wife own Bottle Shop & Liquor in Madison, Ga.
“We’re actually one of the bright spots in the town,” Weaver said.
Weaver attributes his success in Madison to the fact the store carries high-end products, is architecturally pleasing and has nice landscaping and interior design -- all features he plans to include at the proposed Dacula store.
“This just isn’t any package store,” he said. “It’s going to have elegance and class to it.”
The store will carry over 2,000 different wines, many of which will be fine wines, and will have a walk-in humidor, Weaver added.
If his efforts in Dacula are successful, Weaver and his wife plan to sell their Madison store and move to Dacula. Weaver explained that he and his wife have been very involved in the Madison community and plan to be just as involved in Dacula.
“We will be the face of that store,” he said. “We will face the community.”