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Tuesday, April 06, 2004

Eufaula Council Seeks Compromise on Liquor License Restriction

Finding a restaurant that offers wine with meals can be tough in Oklahoma's small towns. Finding one that offers Oklahoma wine...almost impossible. Oklahoma's consumers constantly face prohibition era blue laws restricting a wide variety of types of liquor sales. Now, in some communites, Okies are fighting for change.

An amended Eufaula city ordinance would apparently clear the way for a proposed Italian restaurant on Broad Street to apply for a license to serve alcohol. Even though First Baptist Church is around the corner and on a different street than the proposed restaurant, current law prevents building owner Rich Daniels from applying for a liquor license, because the northwest corner of the church building is within 300 feet of the rear of Daniels' building.

The amended ordinance introduced at Monday's meeting is far more restrictive than an amendment council first planned to consider. The initial amendment would have removed the provision for the 300-foot buffer entirely in the downtown business district. That proposal met opposition from a group of ministers who attended a city council work session to air their concerns and later bought a full page ad in The Tribune opposing any change in the current law.

The Eufaula City Council heard the "first reading" of the amended ordinance Monday. They are expected to vote on it at the next regularly scheduled meeting Monday, April 19, at 5:15 PM.

Eufaula Tribune - Council Airs Restaurant Compromise


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