Another Downtown Restaurant Seeking to Add Alcohol to the Menu

February 8, 2006 – Posted at 6:03 p.m.

JONESBORO, AR -- Another Jonesboro restaurant hopes to add alcohol to the menu. Sheffield 's Restaurant is filing an application to become a private club and serve alcohol, and that triggers a familiar debate. Dinner and a glass of wine could soon be possible at Sheffield's.

"We posted our notice in the window which we have to have in the window for 30 days and then we will go before the board sometime in March," said Sheffield 's owner Carrie Aquino.

Sheffield's filed their application on February 3 because they felt they could add a missing element to the Jonesboro restaurant scene.

"The feedback we have received from customers that they feel that if we could offer wine, beer basically alcohol with their meals they would come in," said Aquino.

However, a number of churches in the area believe Jonesboro is thriving without alcohol and oppose making liquor licenses available to anyone.

"We like the way it's going and it going without liquor. The restaurants say they would be more profitable that's yet to be seen," said Pastor Stan Ballard of the Nettleton Baptist Church . Sheffield 's hopes to take advantage of the fact that it is a casual dining experience by adding alcohol to the menu. It's something they hope will not only enhance business but the economy downtown.

"We feel like it there needs to be a boost in business downtown and we feel like turning the restaurant into a private club will give downtown the boost it needs," said Aquino.

Sheffield 's is currently only open for lunch Monday through Friday but believe if they are granted a private club license they would be able to open for lunch and dinner throughout the week. For churches like Nettleton Baptist who have programs that try to wean people off alcohol it's simple.....why bring something into town they are already trying to avoid.

"We're going to fight all of them, we are going to stand against as many as we can," said Ballard.

If Sheffield's is granted a license they wouldn't be the first downtown restaurant with an alcohol permit. Piero's also has a private club permit to serve alcohol.