Controversy Swirls Around Alcohol Permit Issued to New Batesville Restaurant

January 22, 2004 - Posted at 8:11 a.m. CDT

BATESVILLE, AR - State approval of a beer and wine permit for a planned restaurant on the White River has some residents worried about other possible alcohol taps in Batesville's future.

The Alcohol Beverage Control Board unanimously approved the permit yesterday for Josie's at the Lockhouse, which is to open in a few weeks in Independence County's largest city.

Residents who opposed the permit say they may appeal.

Restaurant owner Steve Carpenter said his hope is to give students at nearby Lyon College and the University of Arkansas' Community College at Batesville experience working in the eatery while they are in school.  The private club license does not allow him to sell on Sunday and permits him only to sell beer and wine.

Carpenter operates a similar Josie's restaurant in Waldenburg in Poinsett County.

Independence County is one of 43 of the state's 75 counties in which alcohol sales are banned.

(The Associated Press contributed to this report.)