The Case for Liquor-by-the-Drink in Caddo County

By: Mayor Kyle Eastwood

June 26th marks a critical moment for the future of Anadarko and Caddo County. After months of seeking an opportunity for our citizens to decide on restaurants being able to sell a glass of wine with dinner or a cup of beer at a concert, the Anadarko Chamber of Commerce was able to get that opportunity on the ballot for our residents. Now, we have to do our part and get out to vote YES.

Recently, voters across the State voted to allow 6 point beer to be sold outside of liquor stores. An indirect consequence of this vote was the end of 3.2 beer. By allowing the sale of 6 point beer, the laws regarding alcohol sales in counties without liquor-by-the-drink became outdated overnight. Under current law in Caddo County, once 6-point beer becomes legal in October and 3.2 beer becomes extinct, local restaurants will no longer be able to sell a beer with your wings and you won’t be able to buy a beer during your 18-holes of golf at Fort Cobb State Park. Why? Because 6-point beer is an alcoholic beverage by law and without liquor-by-the-drink being approved, it cannot be sold. In other words, Caddo County will be a true “dry” county.

For those who like a glass of wine with a steak dinner, a beer at the bar while they watch the ballgame, or a margarita at your favorite Mexican restaurant, liquor-by-the-drink is an easy issue to support. But what about those who don’t care for alcohol and don’t intend to drink if it’s available? Your support is absolutely at the heart of why this is a critical moment for Anadarko and Caddo County.

The primary impact of our failure to pass liquor-by-the-drink will be economic. The vote can cause economic growth, or it can cause a loss of jobs and businesses. If we support the issue, our current businesses that served 3.2 beer will be able to serve the new 6-point beer along with other alcoholic beverages. This will of course be good for our existing businesses. But, as your elected officials work to recruit new businesses, the ability to generate revenue from the sale of alcoholic beverages will be the only way to get new restaurants and entertainment venues to locate in our town.

If we do not support the issue, we will harm exisiting businesses who served 3.2 beer by eliminating a source of revenue for them and closing all bars. What does that mean for our City and County? It means our sales tax revenue will decline, we will have fewer jobs, and our ability to get people to move here will be even harder without places to eat and things to do.

Anadarko has made tremendous progress in the last couple of years, and we now have an opportunity to take a huge step forward. Since I have been Mayor, I have had hundreds of people talk to me about the need for more jobs, places to eat and things to do in Anadarko. June 26th is an opportunity for us to continue our progress toward fulfilling those needs. A vote for liquor-by-the-drink will help us protect the jobs we have and will aid us in our quest for new jobs. The revenue generated by these sales will help the County provide more funding for roads and bridges and will help the State have more funding for education, healthcare and transportation needs.

So help us to KEEP MOVING ANADARKO FORWARD and vote YES for liquor-by-the-drink on June 26th.

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