Despite voter approval, liquor by the drink not Knox Co. reality

Despite voter approval, liquor by the drink not Knox Co. reality

Posted:
"Even if we have to start from scratch and do it over again, which we don't want to do, but it so overwhelmingly passed it sends a message to Nashville," says Knox County Commissioner Larry Smith. "Even if we have to start from scratch and do it over again, which we don't want to do, but it so overwhelmingly passed it sends a message to Nashville," says Knox County Commissioner Larry Smith.

By HARLOW SUMERFORD
6 News Reporter

KNOXVILLE (WATE) -- It's been a little more than a month since Knox County residents voted on a referendum to bring liquor by the drink to unincorporated parts of the county.

The initiative passed by a wide margin, with 63 percent of voters in favor versus 37 percent opposed.

Restaurant owners who had backed the idea hailed the vote as a victory, but so far no businesses have been able to get permits.

The office of Alcohol and Beverage Control is not even accepting applications, because the state will not allow it.

According to officials at ABC, there's a long-standing state law that prohibits liquor by the drink in county districts that have any sections annexed by the city. That would apply to every district in Knox County.

"Even if we have to start from scratch and do it over again, which we don't want to do, but it so overwhelmingly passed it sends a message to Nashville," says Knox County Commissioner Larry Smith.

Commissioner Smith is a supporter of liquor by the drink. He believes it will attract business to the county.

Other supporters including John Emison, chair of Citizens for Home Rule, believe the delay is temporary.

"Whatever ABC has identified as a problem, the fact remains the first step in the process was for the voters to authorize liquor by the drink and we've done that. I am very disappointed that ABC is not processing applications and I hope and believe Knox County's legislative delegation will make it a priority to address ABC's concerns," Emison says.

According to ABC, state law must be changed for Knox County to allow liquor by the drink.

Powered by WorldNow

1306 N. Broadway NE Knoxville,
Tennessee 37917

Telephone: 865.637.NEWS(6397)
Fax: 865.525.4091
Email: newsroom@wate.com

Can’t find something?
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Young Broadcasting of Knoxville, Inc. A Media General Company.