Voters in Pigeon Forge approve liquor by the drink referendum. (Source: Kyle Grainger, WVLT)
PIGEON FORGE, Tenn. (WVLT) – The first restaurants in Pigeon Forge to serve liquor drinks started selling on Friday.
Several restaurants in Pigeon Forge, Blue Moose, Carino's, Tony Roma's and Mellow Mushroom, all got their ABC permits on Friday. Mellow Mushrooms managers say they plan on starting to sell right away.
"Everyone in Pigeon Forge now has a choice. Businesses, residents, visitors all have a choice and even the opponents still have a choice. Pigeon Forge businesses can now better compete with their counterparts in our sister cities as the playing field has been leveled," said Ken Maples with Sevier County Hospitality/Lodging Alliance. "In addition, Pigeon Forge will keep more revenue and thus tax dollars in Pigeon Forge that will benefit our schools, city and economic development."
Liquor by the drink has been debated in Pigeon Forge for years, and in November voters approved the measure by 100 votes. The election is being challenged in court, but no date has been set for a judge to hear the case.
"Now it's time we put this issue behind us, come together as one and move our city forward to benefit everyone," said Maples.
According to officials, more restaurants are expected to get their permits to start selling on Monday.