Ringgold, Georgia's first-ever liquor store will have its grand opening this weekend.

The business was prohibited before voters approved a ballot referendum in November of 2021.

The move could lead to thousands of dollars in local tax revenue.

"To me, and I feel like I can speak on behalf of this council that that wasn't the most important," said Ringgold City Council Member Rhonda Swaney, who supported the initiative. "The most important was representing our citizens."

58% of voters in the city approved the initiative when it was sent to them more than a year ago, leading to changes in the city's liquor laws.

According to city leaders, the city issued two liquor store licenses via a lottery system out of about 200 applicants.

"This council felt like, because it only passed by 58%, let's put a limit on how many liquor stores we can have in the city of Ringgold," said Swaney.

The city put restrictions on advertising and locations, such as not being able to operate within 100 yards of a church or 200 yards of a school.

The city also put restrictions on business operating hours:

  • 7:00 a.m. through 1:00 a.m. Mon.-Fri.
  • 7:00 a.m. through 11:45 p.m. Sat.
  • 12:30 p.m. through 11:30 p.m. Sun.

"People wanted the opportunity to purchase liquor in their hometown," said Swaney. "They were tired of driving to Chattanooga. They didn't want to drive 20 minutes away from home. They wanted the opportunity to purchase liquor here."

The city will get tax revenue of $0.22 per liter of liquor and wine and $0.05 per 12 ounces of beer.

"People vote you in to represent them," said Swaney. "And we were hearing a lot of people saying 'we need a liquor store, we need a liquor store.'"

The city's first liquor store, 348 Liquors on Highway 41, opened in December and will have its grand opening at 2:00 p.m. on Saturday, March 18.


Liam joined the Local 3 News team as a reporter in July of 2021. Before coming to the Tennessee Valley, Liam spent five years living around North Carolina. Most recently, he worked in Jacksonville, North Carolina as a reporter for NBC Affiliate WITN News.

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