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Local beer bars may close due to new expensive licenses/new beer and liquor laws

OKLAHOMA CITY - Oklahoma's new alcohol law goes into effect in less than a month, but not all bars are looking forward to the change.

Since Oklahoma voted to update beer and liquor laws, some mom-and-pop shops are in jeopardy of closing because they can't afford the new licenses needed for high-point beer.

Places like K saloon and Aloha could close come October 1st and the owners say it won't hurt just them, but the entire community.

“It`s just, its heartbreaking,” said Jennifer Evans, employee at Aloha.

“It just is putting a lot of small people out of business,” said Charles Lake, Owner of K Saloon.

Two local beer bar owners both desperate to save their places.

Aloha and K Saloon both say they can't afford the new licenses on top of everything else they have to pay, like rent, payroll and renovations to keep their bar up to code.

The ABLE Commission says just for the new high point beer license it will cost bars $525 a year.

“On top of everything I`ve got and that doesn`t guarantee I am going to get one,” said Lake.

Charles Lake says he just paid his city license last month to keep his bar open and continue selling low-point beer until strong beer comes October 1st.

“I`ve had to have the health department, $275. I`ve had to fire department out of inspection, $80 and you just keep going on,” said Lake. “The city license was $90. I`ve already paid that and now it`s no good.”

Both Evans and Lake say the community is helping them get by for now, but closing the doors may be the only option once low point beer dries up and it won't be easy.

“Everybody who walks through that door is going to be family, especially if we don`t know them,” said Evans. “We get to know them. They get to know us. We`re a tight community here.”

“It`s where we come in and talk and I know all of their kids, they know mine and that`s it,” said Lake. “We`re going to lose that.”

The first deliveries of strong beer arrived in Oklahoma this week.

Right now, they're being stored in warehouses.

They'll be available cold in grocery, convenience, and liquor stores starting October 1st.