GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — A liquor store in Grand Rapids’ Heartside neighborhood is closed for now, after the state suspended its license for multiple violations.
The Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs confirmed to 24 Hour News 8 Friday that Lucky’s Liquor Store at 24 S. Division Avenue is in hot water over multiple violations for selling to visibly intoxicated people.
And not everyone is sad to see it closed.
Lucky’s is located in a neighborhood where the impact of alcohol addiction is all too visible.
“Alcohol continues to be a huge problem, one of the biggest problems because it is the easiest to get and it’s very inexpensive,” said Bob Kreter, marketing manager of Degage Ministries.
Degage, Mel Trotter and Guiding Light are among numerous agencies based in the Heartside neighborhood helping the homeless, many of whom struggle with addiction.
“People are trying to recover so badly, they want to get their life back, but the temptation is there,”Kreter said.
And in the middle of the neighborhood is Lucky’s Liquor Store, which sells inexpensive liquor, along with cigarettes, pop and snacks.
Before becoming Lucky’s in 2008, the business was called Downtown Market in a building constructed in 1928.
Friday, a new sign went up on the front door, saying the store’s license is suspended for 45 days for selling to an intoxicated person.
A woman who identified herself as the owner was angry at the attention and said the problem was the fault of an employee, but would not elaborate.
In an email, LARA reported that Lucky’s was given three concurrent 15-day suspensions for several violations of selling to intoxicated or underage people.
The lack of license already made a difference, according to a neighbor who says he goes to Lucky’s to get pop.
“There will be people here continually buying beer, drinking beer in the coves of the doors and stuff like that and it’s probably a good 10 to 15 people,” said Randy, who did not give his last name.
Although the sign said Lucky’s was open until midnight, the store was locked up at 6:20 p.m. Friday. It’s unclear whether the business will reopen.
“To be honest I’m glad,” said Kreter. “Yes, they’re a business and they’re trying to make a living — I understand that. But for us, being so close to us and the other ministries, the temptation is right there.”
It is a long walk to other stores outside the Heartside neighborhood.
“Maybe they won’t be able get down the street further. It could be a positive. It could help people with their recovery,” Kreter said.