PORTSMOUTH- A fight is brewing to stop Dollar General from selling alcohol near the quaint Olde Towne neighborhood in Portsmouth.
The store at 326 High street is applying for a license to sell beer and wine.
“Then they’ll want to drink it here, and inevitably they end up using our parks as restrooms, and that's unpleasant for everyone,” Civic League President Jack Erickson said Monday.
The shop is across the street from the Children’s Museum of Virginia. While the location is also near downtown bars, there’s not a place nearby to purchase cans of beer or bottles of wine.
Court St. Baptist Church is right around the corner from the Dollar General. Wilbur Kersey has been the pastor there for 54 years and he’s worried about having to pick up trash left behind. He’s most concerned about having alcohol sold so close to the school at the church.
“Someone might be intoxicated and harass one of the children or come into the building because they're drunk,” Kersey said. “Inappropriate behavior might result."
Dollar General has 305 stores in Virginia, 83 of which are currently licensed to sell beer and wine.
Dollar General spokesperson Crystal Ghassemi explained that selling alcohol is becoming a new venture for the company, with several stores introducing beer and wine within the last year.
A hearing on the proposed alcohol license for Dollar General will be held on October 28.