North Texas Daily

Denton’s quest for liquor continues

Denton’s quest for liquor continues

Denton’s quest for liquor continues
July 11
16:38 2014

Nicholas Friedman/ Senior Staff Writer

After nearly 7,000 supportive signatures on a petition, local group Denton First is moving onto the next step in bringing less restrictive liquor sale to the city.

Denton First formed in the spring and began pursuing the ultimate goal of allowing alcoholic beverages to be sold in package stores and for restrictions on local bars and clubs to be lifted, former Mayor Pro Tempore Pete Kamp said.

The group, which consists of local residents, officials and business owners recently hit a major milestone with a successful petition, surpassing an initial goal of 4,000 signatures. If enough signatures are verified, the motion will move to ballot for the November election.

“This city secretary has to make sure that no one pulled a fast one,” said Marcus Watson, group treasurer and co-owner of Dan’s Silverleaf. “Once she does that around August 5 the city council will vote whether to put it on the ballot and we think it will be there.”

Watson said the group’s current goal is to raise money through fundraisers and a GoFundMe page so that they can market and campaign the idea. Everything from yard signs to t-shirts and direct mail will help the cause, Watson said.

Kamp said that the biggest problem the group faces now is getting enough people out to vote in November.

“Since this will be more of a statewide election, hopefully we will get our supporters out there,” Kamp said.

Kim Phillips, vice president of the Denton Convention & Visitor Bureau, said that she is supportive of the project from a tourism perspective and she believes it will make for a better stay in Denton.

“People visit our music venues a lot when they come here,” Phillips said. “Fifty one percent of their sales are alcohol, not food. The way it is right now you have to scan a driver’s license before you can purchase a beverage.”

Phillips said this puts a barrier between those visiting Denton and the bar scene.

“If you’re not from Texas, your license looks different and they may not be able to scan it,” Phillips said. “We host internationals here for the music industry and if all they have is a passport they can’t scan that.”

Kamp said that in addition to lifting the restrictions on buyers of alcohol, it will also lessen the cost for bar and club owners. She said it often costs owners thousands and dollars just to keep up with the paperwork and requirements for a club to sell liquor.

“It’s not just about the alcohol,” Kamp said. “I got involved to support our local businesspeople who are struggling with these rules.”

Andy Odom, who was one of the first to pitch the idea of researching Denton liquor laws, said that according to Texas Petition Services, Denton could see up to $700,000 in tax revenue from liquor sales and up to 300 new jobs created.

“Dentonites are spending that money,” Kamp said. “But they’re not doing it in the city of Denton.”

 Feature Image: An entire aisle inside Total Wine & More is home to hundreds of whiskey bottles. The new wine and spirits store opened on May 28 and is located in Lewisville near the Vista Ridge Mall. Photo by Edward Balusek – Visuals Editor

About Author

Nicholas Friedman

Nicholas Friedman

Nicholas Friedman is the Editor In Chief of the North Texas Daily. In addition, he's had his work published at The Dallas Morning News, GuideLive and the Denton Record-Chronicle.

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