By JUDY SHERIDAN
Alcohol in an Aledo restaurant? Beer and wine for sale in an Aledo convenience store or future grocery store?
Voters might have a opportunity to weigh in on the possibility in May elections if a group of petitioners is able to collect 239 signatures from registered voters living in the city by Dec. 6.
A group of Aledo residents applied for the petition Oct. 7, according to Aledo City Secretary Deana McMullen. As required, the application was signed by 10 registered voters: George and Dianne McGee, John Byrd, Gail Byrd, Travis Roop, Brian McGrew, Mitchell Hansen, Helen Springer, David Springer and Scott Fisher. George McGee is a member of the board for the city’s downtown business district.
The petitioners must now collect 239 signatures in order to put the issue on the spring ballot, she said, a number equal to 35 percent of those who voted in the last gubernatorial election. Because the city granted the petition Oct. 8, Dec. 6 is the deadline.
The petition supports the sale of alcohol in restaurants that have 50 percent of their sales in food, McMullen said. It also supports allowing convenience and grocery stores to sell beer and wine for off-premise consumption, providing they meet a list of requirements, including a specified distance from schools.
Aledo Bearcat Valero, at 421 North FM Road 1187, and Aledo Athletic Club, at 601 East FM 1187, have copies of the petition — which had 98 signatures as of Oct. 14, according to Shane Davis, general manager and partner of Aledo Athletic Club.
“The hard part is they have to live inside the city limits, and that’s actually a pretty small area,” Davis said. “I’ve had 60 people sign that I’ve had to say, ‘Thank you, but you don’t live in the city.’ They’re people who have the Aledo ZIP code. They also have to be registered voters.”
As a former longtime restaurateur and chef, Davis said he supports local alcohol sales and believes it would draw successful chain and high-end restaurants.
“I know from my time at Del Frisco’s and Ruth’s Kris that a pretty large part of their business came from the Aledo area,” he said. “Now that I live here, I’d rather see the tax dollars come here.
“If you want to have a nice business dinner or celebrate, there is nowhere to go.”