POLAND, Ohio (WYTV) – Last November, residents of Poland Village voted to approve the sale of beer and liquor. On Friday, a little gas station in the heart of the village started selling it after months of anticipation.
Stop and Shop on N. Main Street, near the Walgreens on Route 224, is the first store in the village to get a liquor license.
Bob Zorn, a Poland historian and the former Poland superintendent, said the village has been dry for 80 years. The last place that sold alcohol was the Tally Ho Tavern, which is now the Inn at the Green on S. Main Street. It served beer and wine in the 1930s.
Poland Village has been dry as long as anyone can remember. Several people said it’s been over 150 years, but others said it’s only been 80. It’s hard to say because there aren’t really any documents about it, according to the Poland Historical Society.
Many residents said it’s been a long time coming.
“Without the alcohol, without the beer and wine, we can’t make it. We need it for the business,” said Stop and Shop owner Daniel Rai.
He got the liquor license about a week ago and has been preparing for today since then. Friday, Rai and his staff put the finishing touches on the coolers, shelves, and beer cave.
“They can get everything here. One stop and shop, that’s it,” he said.
In October, the store sent a letter to its neighbors, asking for support and they came through during the election.
“We gained the trust and they gave us permission. They voted for us to sell the beer and wine, which is convenience for them,” Rai said.
April Wolfe, a customer, said it’s just as exciting for Rai.
“He tried for such a long time.”
Whether customers were buying alcohol or not, they couldn’t have seemed happier that it’s being sold once again.
“Normally we have to go to Struthers or Youngstown, but now we can just come right here,” Wolfe said.
Nick Chammas was looking forward to buying some for the weekend.
“You know, everyone wants a beer after a long week of work or a long day,” he said.
Although customers seemed, this move was met with some resistance before it was ultimately approved last fall.