A Group of Local Citizens Appeal Recently Issued Alcohol Permit

May 26, 2006 -- Posted at 11:00 a.m. CDT 

JONESBORO -- With each staple and stroke of a paintbrush, Sheffield's Restaurant, in Jonesboro, prepares to join the growing list of places serving alcohol in Craighead County.

"We are combining three of our private dining areas into one, and we will have a bar upstairs.  We've really had great feedback," said owner, Carrie Aquino.

Sheffield's was granted an alcohol permit last month, but now a local group of citizens have hired an attorney and plan to appeal the issuance of that permit.

"They have every right to appeal the decision the ABC board made.....though I really wasn't surprised," said Aquino.

Friendly Hope Baptist Church Pastor Steve Jacobson is part of the group appealing the permit.

"I'm opposed to alcohol. It destroys families. We deal with the damage that alcohol does to families. We have the funeral for the people killed in accidents where alcohol was involved. There's just no good reason for alcohol," said Jacobson.

Jacobson says "let the people speak," meaning, if residents want Craighead County to go wet, then they should work to get the issue on the ballot.

"I really resent people who think because they have influence and money that the laws don't apply to them. The sad fact is that they can go to Little Rock and grease a few palms and get what they want without having to go through the voters....and that's wrong," said Jacobson.

Jacobson admits efforting against alcohol in our county is at times an uphill battle, but he says  there's too much at risk not to put up a fight.

"If we ever quit going and quit fighting, it will be like the water overflowing the levees in New Orleans," said Jacobson.

Aquino she says it's about more than just serving alcohol in her restaurant.

"In order for my business to compete as a small business in a nighttime environment,  I couldn't over look that alcohol is a big component in that. I think it's the start of something good for downtown," said Aquino.