Liquor by the drink OK'ed in Nashville - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Liquor by the drink OK'ed in Nashville

Posted: Updated:

By Jade Bulecza - bio | email

Nashville, GA (WALB) -  Restaurants in Nashville will soon be able to sell mixed drinks. Voters approved the liquor by the drink referendum, but it will be a few months before the cocktails start being mixed.

A referendum was approved by voters last night that will allow liquor to be sold by the drink in Nashville.

"Wine margaritas... that's how we get away with selling margaritas," said Alonso Martinez, restaurant owner.

Instead of wine, the Puerta del Sol Mexican restaurant will be allowed to add liquor to daiquiris and margaritas, and the Cadillac Ranch will be allowed to serve mixed drinks.

"Liquor is more expensive than wine and that's why as a business owner you benefit from that," said Martinez.

He's been behind the idea with restaurant and bar owner Cindy Watson of the Cadillac Ranch. When Watson approached Nashville City officials at a council meeting, no one opposed getting it as a referendum on the ballot.

"We feel like the best way to serve the people is to let them vote on any changes that we make so it seemed like a good idea," said Mayor Travis Harper.

Now city officials have to go through the motions to get an ordinance.  The mayor and council will review ordinances from other cities to create one that best fits Nashville. By next year, establishments like the Mexican restaurant will be able to sell mixed drinks.

After the council votes on an ordinance, they'll have to approve an application for businesses that want a pouring license.

"I think we're looking at an ordinance that would require 50% of food sales so they'll just have to basically comply with the ordinance whichever one we come up with," said Harper.

He says the revenue brought in will help to fill in small gaps in the city's budget.  "I don't think it'll be a huge financial boost to the city. like I said before only two or three restaurants will be taking advantage of this."

Harper says chain restaurants enjoy having a pouring license so he thinks this will attract those establishments to the community.

The mayor doesn't think the new ordinance will encourage drinking,  since the city already has a brown bag ordinance that allows people to bring their own liquor to establishments that will allow it.

©2009 WALB News. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.  Feedback