MARCH 18, 2004 - Posted at 7:28 a.m. CDT
LITTLE ROCK, AR - There's a new private club coming to Craighead County.
Piero's Main Street Bistro in downtown Jonesboro has been granted a liquor license from the state Alcoholic Beverage & Control Division. Piero's is now the 13th private club in the county.
The five members of the ABC's board are all appointed by Governor Huckabee. However, they are not influenced by the Governor's office.
The attorney representing those people opposed to additional private clubs says he believes the board members had their minds made up before everyone arrived for a hearing to appeal a denial that was issued the first time it was presented to the committee.
Six hours of debate led to yesterday's decision.
"We're going to be an asset to the community...it's wonderful," said Piero's owner Piero Trimarchi. Board member J.J. Vigneault complimented the Piero's presentation. "It was a good permit. These people are good citizens, they obviously have a product there that has some support."
However, opponents of the issue say they may have lost the battle, but claim the war is far from over. Reverend Tommy Stacy of Jonesboro's North Main Baptist Church says he was blindsided by a new law that may have hurt the anti-liquor force's chances, and promptly fired a verbal shot a local lawmakers. "We feel like we were sold out by our legislators. They did not let us know about the change in the law.