Bill Would Make it Harder For Restaurants to Get Liquor Permits

JONESBORO, AR -- A bill before the Arkansas legislature would repeal a 2003 law that made it easier for restaurants, convention centers, and other places.

Bill 2432 is in response to another bill introduced last week by Representative Ray Kidd that would have made it easier to get the wet/dry issue on the ballot.  Kidd's bill has already been defeated.

Piero Trimarchi owns Piero's on Main Street in downtown Jonesboro and said house bill 2432 is not good for Arkansas.

Pastor Steve Jacobson of Friendly Hope Baptist Church differs.

Over the past four years Jacobson has made several trips to the ABC Board hearings in Little Rock.

"The idea that for profit restaurant can be a private club is ludicrous," said Steve Jacobson.

Brickhouse Restaurant was granted a liquor permit in December of last year and if this bill passes that permit will be the last.

"It will make it impossible for anybody who owns a restaurant to apply for a liquor license," said Trimarchi.

The bill does not mention those restaurants that already have licenses.

"There shouldn't be any changes in that as far as I know they'd be grandfathered in unless they decide to review this license," said Trimarchi.

Bill 2342 goes before the house rules committee on March 7, 2007.