Cowden voters on Tuesday decided to allow alcohol sales in the village by a 79-53 vote. But going “wet” will take a few months, according to Mayor Loren Barnes.

“We have to decide if its only going to be package liquor or what,” Barnes said. “We haven’t talked about it. We figured we would wait until after the vote, if it passed. We are probably at least two months away. We want to get it right.”

The proposition to allow liquor sales only applies to the Village of Cowden, although it will affect the surrounding area.

The Marathon Gas Station, also known as the Cowden Country Foodmart, sits on the south end of Main Street, and is the only retailer in Cowden that it would affect. THat store will now be able to sell liguor.

“Before, people had to drive to Shelbyville or Beecher City or Effingham when they ran out,” said Shelly Peters, the manager. “This will be safer for the village. People won’t have to drive. It could save people.”

She also said it will bring needed revenue into the village.

“We will be thankful for the revenue,” she said. “We fought for it and the rest of the girls, to get it to happen.”

She said that the new owner, Richie Singh, who also owns Marathon in Shelbyville, bought the place in April and was hoping to get this change.

“We’ll have to set the liquor license and the fee for that,” said Barnes. “We will have to decide how many licenses to register and the rest of the details.”

John Curtis can be reached at

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