Monday, May 11, 2009

Give the Alcoholics What They Want

Last week the SF Chronicle ran a story about an owner of a Tenderloin liquor store attempting to move his liquor license across the street to his new store. It was so close, you could literally throw a beer bottle and hit the new store.

Of course, the community (white liberals from social service organizations who go back to other neighborhoods at night) is up in arms about it, gathering petitions and whatnot to stop it. Opponents of transferring the license say that over 100 incidents have occurred in front of the store in a year and half period. What these incidents were and how they related to the liquor store were not revealed

I don’t know why this article struck me. Maybe because they’re picking on a specific liquor store when there are 3 other liquor stores within a block and a damn police station around the corner. It makes no sense. They don’t think an alcoholic will walk another 30 yards to a liquor store down the block?

A few years ago, 3 college type kids approached me on the corner of Polk and Eddy. It was early Friday evening and I was waiting for the light to turn. They had walked down from Van Ness and had that look like this was the start of their Friday night (whereas I was on my way home).

They politely asked, “Where’s the nearest liquor store?” I found this very peculiar. It was like being on a car lot and asking the salesperson if they sold cars. I paused, to see if they were joking and then said, “Look around you,” pointing to 3 liquor stores that were within viewing distance. They thanked me and walked off.

A few days ago I had some business in the deep Tenderloin. On the way down I counted 9 liquor stores between Larkin and Jones on Eddy. That's 3 blocks. 9 liquor stores! And, for some, this isn’t even the heart of the “loin.

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