Restaurants react to new controlled drinking measure in Choctaw Co.

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CHOCTAW COUNTY, OK -- On Tuesday voters in Choctaw County passed the "Controlled Drinking" measure, which allows restaurants in the county to serve liquor to their customers.

It's the 55th of Oklahoma's 77 counties to approve "liquor by the drink." Hugo business owners we talked to say they are excited about the new change and intend on applying for a liquor license.

"I'm just so excited about this new change, this new law," said manager at Los Compadre's Kenndal Johnson.

"My first thought was it more opportunity for the business to grow and get more customers in here," said owner of El Pueblito Jorge Soto.

Restaurant owners say the new law allows customers to drink locally instead of traveling to Paris or other cities.

"They can stay here locally and spend money here and keep it local and that way the city can grow, we can grow and it helps everybody," said Soto.

"Sometimes they're upset and they leave and they go and find other businesses that will serve them alcohol," said Johnson.

El Pueblito owner Jorge Soto says he plans on adding a bar and possibly extending business hours.

"We're open till 9 p.m., but we are considering staying open maybe until midnight on the weekends."

Restaurants that wish to serve liquor will have to apply for a license through the Alcohol Beverage Laws Enforcement commission.

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