Santa Rosa County Prepared for Liquor Lottery

The liquor license lottery in Santa Rosa County has begun.

April 14 is the deadline for those who want to apply for the licenses, which have become available because Santa Rosa voters approved liquor and wine sales in September.

State officials say a large number of applications are expected. In 2000 when Hardee County went wet there were 153 applications for three available licenses.

License recipients will have to pay a one-time fee of $10,750 plus an annual fee of about $1,800 for a bar and more than $1,300 for a liquor store.

Many Santa Rosa County businesses with beer licenses were able to begin selling wine in December, and restaurants meeting certain size and food sales requirements could sell liquor.

Bars and package stores represent the last phase in permitting the legal sale of all alcoholic beverages in the county.