Affected by COVID-19 and 2019 law, Kansas alcohol seeks loosened regulations to help out industry

19 Apr 2021


Barrel House Liquor in Topeka saw an increase in sales during the COVID-19 pandemic, said its manager Karla Rettig.

But not everybody in the alcohol sector can say the same. While bars and restaurants incapacitated by virus restrictions helped drive traffic toward liquor stores, it's still affected parts of Barrel House's business, too.

"We sell to them like three or four times a week," Rettig said about the bars and other establishments. "Last year, when they shut down and stuff, we had no business. But now things are opening back up, and it's getting quite a bit better."

As the pandemic subsides and focus turns toward reopening the economy, lobbyists for Kansas alcohol businesses are pitching changes to loosen regulations around when and how alcohol establishments can operate as helpful to the industry's recovery. The state has one of the nation's strictest alcohol laws.

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