Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Whitesburg suddenly a different town

The city of Whitesburg, which I describe in PRECIOUS BLOOD as a town where alcohol is against the law, is now a changed place. As of 6 p.m. today, Whitesburg became wet.

When the polls closed and the votes were counted, the wet forces had won overwhelmingly. I don't have the total vote now, but with the two largest precincts counted, the referendum on restaurant alcohol sales was ahead by 261 votes. There are not enough registered voters in the third precinct to reverse the trend, even if every voter in the city limits voted "no."

But while the referendum passed by a wide margin, it will take at least four months before the first legal drink can be sold. The city will become wet 60 days after the election results are certified, during which time the city must appoint an ABC administrator and pass the other necessary ordinances. The licensing process will then take about 60 days for each restaurant that applies. This is a abbreviated information, of course. You can get the full story from the state ABC Board.

Once it's official, restaurants that seat at least 100 people and are inside the city limits will be able to apply to sell alcoholic beverages by the drink, as long as they earn at least 70 percent of their receipts from food.

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