Mayor Karel Passes Champagne to Mrs. McAllister

(From Grand Rapids Herald, December 31, 1933)

Mayor John D. Karel yesterday morning passed over the counter the first bottle of legal liquor to be sold in Grand Rapids in nearly 17 years. He took the place, for a moment, of one of the stock clerks. On the other side of the counter is Mrs. Thomas F. McAllister, former member of the Michigan liquor control commission, who was asked by Chairman Frank A. Picard to be his representative at the formal opening of the retail store here. Thatís a bottle of champagne the mayor is holding out to her. Behind Mrs. McAllister is Phil Jordan, manager of Hotel Morton, and behind him, the trucker who brought the stock from Detroit, and almost headed the line.

G. R. Liquor Store Filled Whole Day; Police Keep Watch

Line of Purchasers Extends Down Street Until Late at Night; Everyone Orderly

For the first time in 17 years, people who wouldnít break the law but like to welcome the advent of the New Year with a nip of something stronger than ginger ale will be able to celebrate tomorrow in what is known as "the good old manner".

At least, all those who had the inclination, the money, and the time to stand in line waiting their turn at the state liquor control commissionís retail store at 43 Division ave., S., will be able to do so.

Long Waiting Line
Yester day, from the opening at 1o a.m. until the doors closed at midnight, there was a steady flow of customers. Outside there was, most of the day, a waiting line, marshaled in order by policemen. They went inside a few at a time, and came out with packages under their arms.

But for the sign across the front of the store, designating its public ownership and purpose, and the long shelves filled with bottles, the lines outside might have been shoppers waiting for a bargain sale to start, o motorists seeking license tags on the last day.

It was about as far removed from the saloons of unlamented memory as anything could be.


Transcriber: ES
Created: 3 May 2007
URL: http://www.rootsweb.com/~histories/prohibition.html