The Berea College Board of Trustees has authorized the college administration to move forward with an application for a “Qualified Historic Site License” that would permit the sale of alcoholic beverages by the drink at historic Boone Tavern Hotel & Restaurant. This action took place during the board meeting on February 21 and 22, and follows an extensive process in which the college’s administration received input and opinions from faculty, staff, students, community leaders and citizens on the subject.
Voters in the east Berea precinct approved the limited sale of alcoholic beverages at qualified historic sites under this type of license during an election held in April 2012. Boone Tavern Hotel & Restaurant and the Churchill Weavers property are both located in this precinct and listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Shaker Village of Pleasant Hill in Mercer County has operated under this type of license since 2007.
Dr. Lyle D. Roelofs, president of Berea College, indicates that there is no established timetable for when an application might be filed. He states much remains to be done to assure that the sale of alcoholic beverages is managed well and in a way that does not detract from the college’s educational mission and is consistent with Boone Tavern’s long-standing traditions of hospitality and excellent service. The hotel opened in 1909 to serve guests of the college and visitors to Berea.