another “private club” restaurant in Conway

23 03 2007

Another restaurant in Conway is now a “private club”, meaning it can sell alcohol.  And like some of the others, the membership fee is $5 a year.  (For my readers not from Conway, AR, this is a dry county, but some recent legislation opened the door for public restaurants — even chains — to get a liquor license, and it’s being abused.  First it was Outback Steakhouse, then Mike’s Place, and now the list continues to grow.)

The restaurant I’m referring to is Joey’s Seafood.  I had been planning to write a review of how good the food there is, but now I’m not decided if I’m going back.  The problem is not the $5 — it’s the principle of going “around” the law to sell alcohol in a dry county.  But here’s my dilemma — it’s not really the restaurant’s fault, but the legislators who are allowing this to happen.  This should not even be an issue, because when the public has voted, they wanted to keep it a dry county.  But of course adding alcohol increases the number of restaurants and brings in more revenue (which is what this is all about).

So what are we to do about it?  Of course we should write to our city and county leaders to let them know what we think of all this.  But what about going to restaurants that are now “private clubs”?  Should we boycott them?  I’ve already written about boycotts, how they aren’t always effective.  And what if this trend continues to my favorite restaurants?  If I take a definite stand against it, how far do I take it?  If the whole county becomes “wet”, do I leave?  No.  So where do I draw the line?

What do you think?  And why?

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3 responses

28 03 2007
Kri'

I will not pay for a membership that supports alcohol at a restaurant – I just won’t do it! I’ll go to a restaurant in a wet county that serves alcohol and just refrain from purchasing it, but I completely agree that the restaurants in Conway are just working around the laws.

Chick-fil-A has good food… I’ll just eat there if all the other restaurants become “wet…”

28 03 2007
Fab

I can see it now: I’d like a Big Mac, Large fries and a McCoors Lite to go. 🙂

I’m with you, Kri’. It’s totally ludikri’ to pay a membership to dine at a restaurant that is disuised as a private club just so they can serve booze. I guess if we don’t like the laws, we can just start up a private club to get around them.

Hey, I don’t like the low posted speed limits around town, so I guess I should start a speeders club so that if you give me a $5 membership fee, you can go up to 25 mph over the posted speed limit with no legal consequences. With your $5 membership, you get a gift card for $5 in free gas and our monthly e-newsletter telling where the best speed-traps are that you can openly speed right through with your members-only speeder’s decal, also included.

As ridiculous as this sounds, this is precisely what is going on in our town. If the desire to have our city/county go wet is so great, why not have a referendum and vote it up or down. Why are people afraid to be fair and let everyone have a say? This issue just blows my mind and makes my blood boil.

18 05 2007
Beppo

Now El Chico has been granted a private club permit, so they can sell alcohol. How do people not see that this is side-stepping the law?!? This is a dry county. El Chico has been here for many years. If they wanted to be a private club, they could’ve done so at any time. But now that our city board is allowing restaurants to exploit this loophole, El Chico wants to be a private club. Obviously the only reason is so they can serve alcohol.

I wish they’d let the people vote on this. If the majority of people living here want it to be a wet county, then fine. I’d rather it stay dry, but at least it would be representative of what the people actually want. Instead, we have our mayor Townsell who seems to have little regard for what the law currently says or what the people want.

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