Texas C-Stores, Grocers Seek Beer and Wine Sales

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Texas C-Stores, Grocers Seek Beer and Wine Sales

PLANO, Texas -- Beginning this week, Plano, Texas, restaurateurs and other retailers are collecting signatures in a campaign to approve citywide beer and wine sales, according to the Plano Star Courier. If enough residents put pen to parchment, voters will decide the issue in the city's May 2004 ballot election.

"This petition drive is about fair business and leveling the playing field for Plano restaurants, grocery and convenience stores," said Brad Shanklin, president of the Plano Chamber of Commerce and member of Plano Citizens for Balance Business.

Not only does the effort seek citywide legalization of beer and wine sales, it aims to eliminate membership cards at area restaurants, according to the Star Courier.

"Those memberships make no sense," said Diane Donley, marketing director for Love & War in Texas. Like many eateries, the Plano restaurant requires private membership cards for customers imbibing on premises.

Volunteers will solicit signatures in front of those businesses, as well as holiday tree-lighting ceremonies and other events anticipating large crowds.

Supporters have until Jan. 11, 2004 to collect the 20,077 signatures required to bring the issue to vote in May. "Our target is 500 signatures from each restaurant," said Shanklin. "We're shooting for 30,000 for a nice cushion."

Beer and wine sales are prohibited on about 40 percent of Plano land. Grocery stores skirting western and northern edges of town also cannot sell beer and wine, while those in other parts of town can.

That's because the former areas were annexed after 1977 when Plano approved beer and wine sales, requiring separate legislation, according to the news report.