Ever been to Russell Township? Where’s that? you ask. Well, can’t say for sure, somewhere out yonder, past the edge of the East Side and civilization as we know it, in that wild unsettled stretch between 91 and the Pennsylvania state line. At only 16 square miles or so, you actually might have been in the quiet postage stamp of soil without knowing, just passing through or searching for an empty road for a convenient evidence dump. Anyway, one way you can know for sure if you were ever in Russell Township: You weren’t able to buy booze there.
That’s right, Russell Township is as dry as the Indians salary budget. Since 1920, there’s been no selling of the devil’s sauce inside the city limits. No beer, wine, or liquor. Temperance was all the rage in Russell circa 1910, and as Prohibition came and went, the locals reportedly decided to stick with their ban — mainly as a way to discourage restaurants from opening in town (who would really want one of those?).
But just as the small town tries to keep its historic values in place, who should come along to shake up the mix and dangle a little bit of modernity before the vigilant folk but corporate interests. That’s right — none other than quickie-mart conglomerate Circle K is hoping to convince to town to do away with its ban.
According to the Chagrin Valley Times, representatives from Circle K took out paperwork recently from the Geauga County Board of Elections for a petition to put the issue on November’s ballot. The paper reports the company is hoping to expand its Chillicothe Road location and wants to serve carryout beer and wine. If residents play ball, Circle K says their keep longer hours and hire more help. —Kyle Swenson