Shawnee, Lenexa revise liquor code to allow grocery stores to sell 6 percent alcohol by volume; pubs get longer hours to serve liquor

Starting April 1, grocery stores like this Hy-Vee in Lenexa will be allowed to sell beer with up to 6 percent alcohol by volume.

After the Kansas Legislature slightly relaxed the state’s liquor laws, Shawnee and Lenexa have updated their city codes to reflect the statewide changes.

The new Kansas laws, effective April 1 of this year, permit cereal malt beverage licensees — such as grocery stores and gas stations — to sell beer with up to 6 percent alcohol by volume. Under the old law, these vendors could only sell beer with up to 3.2 percent alcohol by weight — which equates to roughly 4 percent alcohol by volume.

Additionally, the new state laws will permit drinking establishments to serve alcoholic liquor between 6 a.m. and 2 a.m. Previously, liquor could only be served between 9 a.m. and 2 a.m.

The Shawnee council on Monday adjusted its city code to mirror the new state laws. Shawnee also adjusted its city code to permit a retailer of alcoholic liquor to sell cereal malt beverages; all references to alcoholic liquor in the code now include cereal malt beverages. The Shawnee council had no discussion before unanimously approving the city’s new liquor code.

The Lenexa Council Feb. 19 unanimously opted to adjust its city code to allow grocery stores and gas stations to serve beer with up to 6 percent alcohol by volume. The council also updated the city code to allow drinking establishments to serve liquor between 6 a.m. and 1:30 a.m. Previously, Lenexa city code allowed liquor to be served between 9 a.m. and 1:30 a.m.

The Lenexa council also briefly discussed the 1:30 a.m. deadline. Steven Shrout with the city’s legal staff said this gives drinking establishments half an hour to ensure they have stopped selling liquor to customers well before the 2 a.m. deadline per state law.