Residents To Vote On Liquor By The Drink

By: Stephen McLamb
By: Stephen McLamb

People in Townsend will soon decide if they want to have the option of having a mixed drink or a glass of wine at local restaurants.
As Volunteer TV's Blount County Bureau Chief Stephen McLamb tells you, not every restaurant is welcoming the idea with open arms.
Having a drink served to you during dinner at a restaurant in Townsend is just not the law and somewhat frustrating for some.
Donna Poindexter says, "last night, when we came into town we had to drive all the way to Gatlinburg just to get a bottle of wine because they don't sell it here."
But on the November 7th ballot, residents there will have a chance to change that and vote to have liquor by the drink.
Poindexter continues, "it would be nice when you go out to dinner, it would be nice to have a drink with dinner."
Besides an increase in tax revenue, some local officials feel it will be good for the town.
Herb Handly with the Smoky Mountain Convention and Visitors bureau says, "evens the playing field out. Most of the resort communities around us do offer that and we would like to be able to offer it to our visitors as well."
Theo Ogle, the Back Porch Restaurant manager says, "we wouldn't do that here because we're a small restaurant and we would have to do too many changes."
But even if passed, the decision will be the individual restaurants.
The people at the Back Porch Restaurant say they'll take a pass on serving alcohol.
Ogle continues, "quiet family dinners and my brother in law sings a lot of times and it's all family oriented and that's what we want to keep hold of."
While some look forward to the possibility of having a drink, not everyone plans to be a customer.
Suzan Curtis says, "personally, as a choice, I do not drink. So, even if it was available, I would not as part of my meal."
Currently, customers can bring in alcoholic beverages to restaurants, but Handley expects that practice will probably end if the measure is passed.


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