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Restaurant beer, wine sales could be reality

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By Carolyn Ten Broeck

Restaurants in Williston may soon be able to sell beer and wine, despite their locations, if an ordinance is approved at the March 4 council meeting.

Tuesday night, in a 4-1 vote with Council President Jason Cason dissenting, the council approved on the first reading an ordinance that allows for the on-site consumption of beer and wine in restaurants–places were 51 percent of revenue comes from food sales.

Currently, any establishment–including restaurants–is prohibited from alcohol sales if it is within 300 feet of a church. The new ordinance eliminates that clause. 

Cason voted against the ordinance, citing his personal religious convictions. He said if his actions created a stumbling block for anyone, the sin was also his to bear and he did not want the responsibility of an alcoholic falling off the wagon because he was tempted by alcohol in a restaurant.

The ordinance will have its second reading March 4, and, if approved, will go into effect immediately paving the way for Pizza Hut–and other restaurants–to sell beer.

Pizza Hut’s management had asked for council to look at its law since it is opposite a storefront church and therefore cannot sell beer.