NEWS UPDATE: Sai Thai Gets It's Liquor Permit

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - Downtown Jonesboro will soon have yet another establishment that is able to serve alcohol, as Sai Thai Cuisine is approved for a liquor permit Wednesday.

The restaurant at 211 S. Main St.  received unanimous approval for the permit Wednesday afternoon from the board of directors of the state's alcoholic beverage control division.

Sai Thai Cuisine was originally denied on its permit request in August, as many others were initially denied before later being approved.

Owner Sai Kattaviravong said she plans to add Thai beer and wine to the eatery's menu.

JONESBORO, AR  (KAIT) -- It's round two for Sai Thai Cuisine, 211 S. Main St., as the Alcohol Beverage Control Division of Arkansas reviews Saisavanh Kattaviravong's appeal from a previous decision.

On August 20, 2008, ABC Director Michael Langley rejected the restaurant's request to obtain a private club permit, which came after Craighead County Sheriff Jack McCann signed a letter opposing the move. A petition with 214 signatures was also submitted.

Kattaviravong said she wants to be allowed to provide Thai beer and wine to her customers, and the only way she can do that is by getting the permit.

Sai's Thai restaurant, which has been in operation since March, is competing with entities that already have permits to serve alcohol in downtown Jonesboro.

The sale of alcohol in Craighead County has been a deeply divided issue since becoming a dry county. McCann said Jonesboro should remain wet until voters change their mind.

"If the voters here voted to be semi-wet or wet, then that's fine, but as long as the vote was against it then it ought to stay that way," said McCann.

There are more than 20 businesses now serving liquor and McCann said that is enough to please the drinking public.

McCann said he believes Sai Thai Cuisine will get the permit.

Today's hearing for Kattaviravong is at 1:00 p.m. in Little Rock.