Appeals Court Strikes Down Alcohol Permit for Batesville Restaurant

SEPTEMBER 29, 2005 - Posted at 7:50 a.m. CDT

BATESVILLE, AR - The state Court of Appeals says the Arkansas Alcoholic Beverage Control board failed to show that it had determined whether a Batesville restaurant qualified for a beer and wine permit as a non-profit private club.  Yesterday's decision overturned a unanimous ruling by the ABC board last year granting the permit for Josie's at the Lockhouse.

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

The board received 765 letters in opposition to the permit and a petition with about 2,300 signatures.  Proponents sent about 140 letters and presented the board with a list of about 2,200 people who wanted to become members of the private club.

In its ruling yesterday, the appeals court said the alcohol board's findings were insufficient for the court to determine whether the establishment met the requirements of the law.

(The Associated Press contributed to this report.)