Alcohol permits pass on split vote

A pair of alcohol-related public hearings drew support from Gladewater council members in June, but there weren’t unanimous ‘Cheers’ from the elected officials.
The first hearing June 15 was a quick one for AJ’s Fast Stop at 1708 N. Main. The off-premises beer-and-wine permit for such locations is not transferable, city inspector Al Harrison noted; as the business has sold to a new owner, it required a new specific use permit for ongoing alcohol retail sales.
With no comments on the prospect from either the council or the public, the six council members in attendance (out of seven) unanimously-approved councilman Rocky Hawkins’ motion to grant the permit.
The second public hearing focused on Vice City in Suite 101 at 807 S. Tyler St. which currently sells vaping and smoking materials, accessories and other merchandise.
Owner Jeremy Montana’s aim is to add daiquiris and similar options for customers. The neighboring Penny’s Food & Fuel No. 13 has beer-and-wine sales.
“He named the store Vice City so he could introduce all vices to people that are legal,” Harrison told council members.
According to Montana, “When we first started we were just going to do liquor, but the process is so long we just to do all of it,” he said. The business is willing to put up a partition inside if it’s necessary to shut down for Sundays. “We have a lot of customers really ready for the daiquiris to come in.
The permit request was approved by members of the city’s Planning & Zoning Board, Harrison added.
There was no further public comment on the issue. Councilwoman Brandy Flanagan expressed her opposition to the measure prior to the council’s vote.
“I personally am not going to vote for this,” she said. “I don’t have a problem with restaurants and for our gas stations to carry (alcohol), but I’m not for us having it all throughout the city.”
Hawkins’ motion, seconded by council member Michael Weber, passed 4-2 with Hawkins, Weber, Mayor Scott Owens and Mayor Pro Tem Sonny Anderson voting in favor while Flanagan and council member Teddy Sorrells opposed the motion.

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