- Associated Press - Sunday, June 15, 2014

BEREA, Ky. (AP) - Visitors to the historic Boone Tavern Hotel in Berea may soon be able to order a beer.

The Lexington Herald-Leader (http://bit.ly/1qAQuiT) reports that Berea College, which owns the establishment, has requested a qualified historic site license, which would allow it to sell alcohol.

Despite its name, the 105-year-old landmark has never sold alcohol. It opened in 1909 to serve college guests and visitors to the city. Over the years, the hotel has hosted notables including the Dalai Lama, Henry Ford, President and Mrs. Calvin Coolidge and Maya Angelou.

Judge Wilson, general counsel for the college, said there isn’t a timeline yet on filing a license application, but it usually takes up to 90 days for the state to act on an application. He said alcohol sales likely wouldn’t start until fall.

Berea’s board of trustees gathered input from faculty, students, staff, and the community before giving approval to seek the license.

“Most of the traveling public today are used to walking into a fine hotel and being able to order a drink,” he said. “And people have been asking for that at the Boone Tavern for years.”

Wilson said the board considered several factors before making its decision, and noted that alcohol will still be prohibited on campus. He said students who work at the hotel won’t serve alcohol.

“It’s better handled by professionals,” Wilson said. “It’s a non-issue for our students and does not affect our campus rules with respect to alcohol or drugs.”

Kentucky lawmakers approved legislation in 2007 that allows referendums in precincts with sites that are listed on the National Register of Historic Places and also have restaurants and lodging.

In 2012, residents of the district where the hotel is located voted 146-57 in favor of allowing by-the-glass sales at the site.


Information from: Lexington Herald-Leader, http://www.kentucky.com

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