Raise a Glass: Voters approve alcohol at Yew Dell

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By Kenny Colston

It will be easier for patrons of a popular Crestwood event center to consume alcohol, thanks to the results of a special election.

The election, held Tuesday at the South Oldham Fire Station on Old La Grange road, will now allow Yew Dell Botanical Gardens to sell alcohol by the drink during events. The change was passed by an 87 percent margin.

Yew Dell is host to many business events and weddings year-round, but previously could only make alcohol available by hiring a licensed caterer to provide it.

Jackie Gulbe, a spokeswoman for Yew Dell, said before the election that at most events, especially concerts at Yew Dell, visitors like to have a glass of wine or beer. Being able to sell alcohol by the drink would help reduce costs on Yew Dell for such events, since they could apply for their own alcohol license, she said.

The special election was plagued by tremendously low turnout. Only 15 out of 653 voters cast ballots in the election, a two percent turnout. Out of the 15 votes cast, 13 voted yes, while two voted no.

No ballots were submitted through absentee voting, either through the mail or by voting in person at the county clerk’s office.

The special election cost the county at least a couple thousand dollars despite low turnout, but state law mandates the alcohol vote could not take place on a regular election day.

Despite the low turnout, Gulbe said the organization was happy with the results.

“Obviously we’re very pleased with the outcome,” Gulbe said. “This is a whole new opportunity to give us a chance to explore new ways for us to offer events and bring people into the community.”

Gulbe said there isn’t a set date for Yew Dell to start offering alcohol by the drink at events, because there are likely applications and regulations to follow with Alcoholic Beverage Control.

“We’re going to do everything that needs to be done,” she said. “I can’t answer when, but we hope sooner rather than later.”

There was no prominent opposition to the vote leading up to the election and Oldham County Magistrate Michael Logsdon, who represents the area, said he hadn’t received one message for or against the proposal before the vote.

Before the vote was held, Logsdon said he supported the proposal.

“I believe everybody should vote for anything of this importance,” Logsdon said. “It’s up to the people to decide. Personally, I have no problem with it.

“I believe in personal responsibility when it comes to drinking.”

Yew Dell now becomes the first organization to take advantage of a new state law allowing historic buildings to sell alcohol by the drink.

With the vote completed, Gulbe said Yew Dell was grateful for the new flexibility with alcohol sales.

“We appreciate the precinct’s support,” she said. And we look forward to producing new events for the community.”

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