Convenience stores closer to selling beer, wine

Just 1 place within city ineligible

ROCK FALLS – Five eligible Rock Falls convenience stores have been given liquor licenses recently, the mayor said.

In September, the Rock Falls City Council decided to allow convenience stores to sell beer and wine. The stores "very quickly" applied for the licenses after a 10-day waiting period, Mayor Bill Wescott said. 

The convenience stores will also have to apply for and receive a state liquor license, he added.

The two Casey's General Store locations, the two Shell gas station locations, and the Mobil Gas Station at 1308 First Ave. have been given the city's Class 4 liquor license.

However, the Mobil Gas Station at 201 12th Ave. was the only convenience store in Rock Falls that wasn't eligible for a liquor license, Wescott said, because it was too close to Rock Falls High School.

The Mobil Gas Station is across the street from the high school. Assistant Manager Doreen Bontz said she won't know for a while whether business will be hurt by not being allowed to sell beer or wine. 

According to the city's code, a liquor license can't be issued to an establishment within 100 feet of a school, church, nursing home, or military or naval station.

Sterling has a similar provision in its city code, also prohibiting liquor licenses from being issued to businesses within 100 feet of certain establishments, including schools and churches.