Waterloo liquor store fighting to keep its license - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Waterloo liquor store fighting to keep its license

WATERLOO (KWWL)--- A Waterloo liquor store is fighting to keep its liquor license.  Five Star Snacks and Liquor is in the church row neighborhood.  Concern from residents about the density of stores and allegations of illegal activity prompted petitions recently to deny its liquor license renewal.  Sides both for and against the renewal turned in petitions at Monday night's city council meeting.

You can find several people stopping into Five Star Snacks and Liquor in Waterloo to pick up everything from candy and soda, to cigarettes and beer.

"I like to come over here a lot.  It's just a neighborhood store.  Everybody comes up here," said Hayley Powers, Five Star customer.

But recently this store has come under fire by the Church Row Neighborhood Association.  The group believes that people who come here are involved in everything from drug dealing to prostitution.  But the store's manager says that's simply not so.  And he invites anyone to come and see that for themselves.

"We invite everybody in, and we're happy to have anyone and everyone stop into our store.  Even if they don't want to purchase anything, just come in and take a look around.  And I'm sure that they'll be pleased" said EJ Ramos, Five Star manager.

Customers agree, and say they feel completely safe here.

"I come here every single day--two, three times a day.  I've never seen any problems, and I've never had any problems," said Five Star customer Sheila Shadlow.

Despite recently reported crime in the area, these customers say Five Star is not to blame.

"I know that there's probably lots of gang stuff and drug stuff going on over here, but that's not the store's fault.  It's people's fault.  So they need to do stuff about the people in the community.  The store can't worry about that," Powers said.

Many of these customers love coming here so much that they signed a petition supporting the store.  The effort is in hopes that the Church Row Neighborhood Association is not successful in stopping Five Star's liquor license from being renewed.

"I would be very upset and bothered if something happened to this place, especially if it was something over lies.  There's nothing going on here," said Five Star customer Deshaun Smith.

The city council will have the ultimate say at its meeting Monday, when it will determine whether or not to renew Five Star's license.

The city clerk will not be required to verify signatures on the petitions handed in.  They're simply available for the council's review.  If Five Star's liquor license would be denied, the store can appeal that decision with the state.

KWWL Reporter:  Kera Mashek

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