More South Ga. towns to allow liquor by the drink - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

More South Ga. towns to allow liquor by the drink

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By  Stephanie Springer  - bio | email

LEESBURG, GA (WALB) –Not only did Republicans do well in last night's elections, but so did the issue of Alcohol sales. Voters in several south Georgia communities decided whether to allow liquor by the drink sales and alcohol sales on Sundays.

Soon, you'll be able to stop at San Joe's Mexican Restaurant in Leesburg and order a Margarita on the rocks. "When they come to the Mexican restaurant, they expect a frozen Margarita or a cold beer," said Romero Alvarez, owner of San Joe's.

Leesburg voters passed two liquor referendums that will enable him to sell alcohol seven days a week. "I'll be looking forward to serving them what they like, a frozen margarita or a daiquiri," said Alvarez.

Inside Leesburg city limits, San Joe's Mexican is the only restaurant that serves alcohol, but mixed drinks will help out business.

He went to the city with the request, and they voted to put the option on the November ballot. "It will help keep him in business and hopefully attract other business in the future," said Jim Quinn, Mayor of Leesburg.

The city of Leesburg is not alone, voters in Ben Hill County, Terrell County and Lake Park voted on similar referendums allowing the sale of mixed drinks or Alcohol on Sunday.

Alcohol Sales

Liquor by the drink

Leesburg            67.2% yes

                          32.8%   No

Ben Hill County   54.9% yes

                          45.1%  no

Terrell County     60.2%  yes

                           39.8%  no

Sunday Alcohol

Leesburg              52.1% Yes

                            47.9% No

Lake Park             55.0% Yes

                            45.0% No

City officials say the sales will bring in more revenue to the city. "San Joe's will be able to sell alcohol more than he sells a glass of sweet tea for, and we will get a portion of every penny sold," said Quinn.

It will also possibly attract future business, "I think a lot of things have been located right at the county line but I think this could start some interest in bringing more business to the city," said Casey Moore, city clerk.

But not all people are in favor of allowing more opportunities for people to drink. "If you want my honest opinion, we have gotten away from Godliness and stepped into worldliness and we are paying the price for it in our families," said Pastor Bobby Harrell, of First Baptist Church of Leesburg.

In fact some, are against alcohol altogether. "I'm against alcohol sales of any kind and when I get to heaven there will be no alcohol sales," said Harrell.

Lee county passed a similar measure a few years ago allowing Sunday alcohol sales, and mixed drinks.

Before the ordinance is officially adopted the city must have a public hearing where folks can weigh in on the proposed ordinance.

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