Bowie residents are ready to be able to legally buy alcohol and liquor within city limits and they want to know when it will happen. Residents filled our Newschannel 6 facebook page and called our newsroom wanting to know when sales will start. Newschannel 6 worked the phones all day contacting a number of officials to get you answers. We found out Bowie residents will be waiting for several weeks.
The Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission tells us stores like Walmart will have to wait four to six weeks to sell alcohol. But the wait is even longer for restaurants because they will be serving alcohol for on premises consumption.
Jason Love owns Sweet Boys Diner in Bowie and he says he will apply for a liquor license.
TABC regulations will require Love to place a sign for 60 days prior to submitting a liquor application. They will need to inform the public that he will be selling alcohol.
However long it takes Love is happy voters passed the measure, but he does realize there are still people in town who are hesitant about what is to come. Love comments, "We're going to take it slow because it is new and a lot of people in town are fighting it and are against it. We want to do it slow because these are our customers, we depend on everyone."
Love and others in the community believe in the long run. Alcohol sales will benefit the city. "If you look around all the other cities around us do the same thing. They are all wet. I feel people are going to have their feelings hurt about it. I think they will come back and realize it is good for the community."
He's estimating the yearly profit at his restaurant alone will double. "Alcohol plays a big influence on sales because when people come in they order something to eat, they want to enjoy a beverage with it. We will definitely see an increase in sales on that."
And Love says he hopes to see more businesses come in and fill vacant buildings downtown.
"This is going to benefit everyone, especially all the business in town. You'll see hew business come in and bigger business. It's a win-win situation for everyone, especially the city."
While sales are set to increase in Bowie surrounding communities are expecting to take a loss because of the vote. Newschannel 6 spoke to one Nocona liquor store and workers say they are very upset. They say 60 to 70 percent of their customers are from Bowie.
Montague officials tell Newschannel 6 commissioners will meet Monday to certify the election. At that point businesses in Bowie can start submitting their applications with the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission.