Have you ever dreamed about getting in the booze business? Well here's your chance...

I just so happen to see the legal notices today while I was looking at the lab puppies in the paper. There is a new liquor license available in the Billings area. This is brand new and it's what they call a floating license that's available because of population growth.

Per the listing:

NOTICE The Montana Department of Revenue, Alcoholic Beverage Control Division, announces the availability of one (1) Montana All-Alcoholic Beverages License to be "floated" into the Billings quota area as the result of the most recent population census. A "Floater" license is an all-alcoholic beverages license that may be moved to a new location outside the original quota area....The available Montana All-Alcoholic Beverages License for the Billings quota area may be located within the corporate limits of Billings or within 5 miles of Billings' corporate limits but not further than the boundary that separates Billings from Laurel.

- Billings Gazette Legal Announcements

No gambling comes with this so it would probably go to a restaurant or some type of eatery.

Anyway, the part that floored me was the opening bids have to start at over $485,000. Dang near half a million dollars just to get started and you know it will bring more than that. I was thinking that if you could make 25 cents on every beer you sell it would take you two million beers before you break even.

Shelf of liquor bottles (differential focus
Ryan McVay

That's a lot of pours. I don't know how this compares to other states but it seems pretty pricey to me. I know it's a full beverage license but still expensive. Plus the investment into coolers, a new bar, the help, etc. sure make it hard to pencil out. And the liability for the business goes up, it really takes a special someone to be in that type of business anyway.

Townsquare Media Billings
Townsquare Media Billings

I was wondering how much a plain old restaurant license costs? I'll bet it's nowhere near that new liquor license we got. Plus who decided how many places can serve booze and the study behind population growth and what's acceptable?

Years ago anyone could serve if you could make it work. At one point I know Roundup in their coal days had more bars per capita than anywhere in Montana. They didn't pay half a million a piece either.

See ya tomorrow at 5 a.m.

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