MW City Council to Weigh Extended Drinking Hours | Local News

MINERAL WELLS — Clubs in Mineral Wells could be allowed to sell drinks for an additional hour under an ordinance the city council will consider at a 6 p.m. meeting on Tuesday.

The decision is one the board discussed late last fall, but chose to delay until the holidays were over. Council members at the previous meeting spoke primarily about balancing the benefits for local clubs, particularly in the city’s growing downtown area, with the implications for public safety of an “hour additional drunkenness, as police chief and acting city manager Dean Sullivan said.

Two downtown business owners said last week that expanding alcohol hours from 1 a.m. Sunday to 2 a.m. was not high on their to-do list.

“I don’t really know how I feel,” said Perri Leavelle, co-owner of Brazos Market and Downtown Bistro with Mayor Regan Johnson. “I don’t know enough to know if we are ready for this.”

Leavelle, who also owns Lofts & Hospitality bed and breakfasts downtown, said she was concerned about the added burden that increased drinking hours would place on law enforcement. At the previous board meeting, Sullivan pointed out that a single call for domestic violence would drive two of his officers away from downtown at a time when drinking problems and domestic fights are common.

Also, added Leavelle, the restaurant closes at 10 p.m. now.

“We have no desire to be open past 10 a.m.,” she said. “We would like to have a proper application.”

Acknowledging the two hats he now wears – as police chief and acting city manager – Sullivan noted the potential to both drain police and ambulance resources and spur a growing nightlife in the center. -city.

“Having establishments that sell alcoholic beverages open for longer periods of time will most likely impact public safety resources in their response at any given time,” Sullivan wrote in an email. “There will be more incidents of alcohol-related crashes, disruptions and impairment, all of which can negatively impact the public safety response.”

Sullivan also said he recognizes the economic potential of extended liquor hours — sales taxes, mixed drink taxes, potentially higher numbers of liquor sales licenses, though he added that those benefits possible cannot be accurately predicted.

“I believe extending liquor sales hours in Mineral Wells is a significant step forward, given all of the vast improvements in and around our thriving downtown area. But the real question is: is this the right time to move in this direction?

Jason Lopez, owner of Sports Bar and Grill at Crazy 8 on North Oak Avenue, said the council could help his downtown business by changing the city’s noise ordinance to allow bands to play without the neighbors call the police.

The sports bar closes at midnight, anyway.

“I’m a little on the fence about (increased sales),” he said. “We will have to accept whatever decision they make… We will just continue and see how it goes, and if it passes, I have a good feeling that the noise ordinance will pass. I’ll try to go (Tuesday) and see how it goes.

Comments are closed.