Pushmataha Co. residents to vote on liquor by the drink

PUSHMATAHA COUNTY, Okla. -- Right now, you can buy liquor in Pushmataha County, but you can't buy it by the drink from a local restaurant. That could soon change, however.

In January, Choctaw residents voted 'yes' on a "controlled drinking" measure that allows restaurants to sell liquor by the drink. And in June during the primary elections, Atoka County residents did the same.

Now Antlers Mayor Mike Burrage wants to help Pushmataha County residents to O-K the measure, too.

"I want to.. our county to keep up with our surrounding counties. I don't want to be left behind," he tells News 12.

On Monday, the board of county commissioners met in Pushmataha County, and voted to include a "controlled drinking" measure on the November 4th ballot.

"The people I've talked to in our county, the local citizens, are very supportive of it," Burrage said. "So I'm hopeful that we can get it passed."

News 12 took to the streets of Antlers to ask residents think of the measure.

Many of them, like Kristen Brown, had mixed feelings about mixed drinks.

"the consumer has to be the adult in the decision on how much they drink," Brown said. "Yes, we're going to have more problems, you know, with drunk driving."

She quickly added, "Maybe limit [the amount of drinks]?"

Over at Abels' Bar B Que off of of State Highway 3 in Antlers, owner and manager Wayla Abels said the proposition, if passed, wouldn't affect the way she does business.

"We've never served alcohol in here. We have nothing against serving alcohol in restaurants," she said.

"If it does pass, we may consider it in the next few years but not anytime soon."

Abels said Abels' Bar B Que has been in business for over 25 years and is prided on being a family establishment.

That's the reason, she said, why the restaurants won't look into serving any alcohol for sometime.

However, she did say that the proposition could bring good to the county.

"It would be great, that way they could stay in antlers and have the liquor by the drink instead of going to other counties or other restaurants," she said.

If residents vote 'yes' to the measure in November, any restaurants interested in selling liquor by the drink must apply a license with the Alcohol Beverage Laws Enforcement commission.


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