The Finch Formerly Known As Gold

28 June 2005

How dry they are

In 1984, Oklahoma voters approved a Constitutional change allowing county option on liquor by the drink. The following year, a number of counties (including Oklahoma and Tulsa counties) voted to open the bars. McClain County turned it down, and there hasn't been any pressure to get county voters to the polls to try again, probably because it's easy enough to drive to Norman or Oklahoma City.

But Linda Clark of the Purcell Chamber of Commerce reports that the county lost out on a Red Lobster restaurant being considered for the future boomtown of Newcastle, because of McClain's liquor laws. So Clark approached McClain County commissioners, and two of the three said that they had more important issues to worry about.

I wouldn't be surprised to see a petition drive later this year.

Posted at 7:53 AM to Soonerland

Remember the old saying about "Oklahomans will vote dry as long as they can stagger to the polls" (most notably attributed to Will Rogers)?

The one commissioner sayS they were too busy worrying about the tax revenue shortfall to care about "liquor by the drink" while at the same time losing a business that would contribute to the revenue stream. I just wonder if this is an indication that Oklahoma's tradition of private sin and public salvation is still a player ... surely not

Posted by: Ron at 9:34 AM on 28 June 2005

It could be (and don't call me Shirley); old habits die hard, and in Oklahoma, they die harder.

I'd be interested to see just how much interest there is in "upscale" eateries in Newcastle or Purcell.

Posted by: CGHill at 11:45 AM on 28 June 2005

Red Lobster is "upscale?" I guess with "ironic quotes" it is.

Posted by: Dan at 10:24 PM on 3 July 2005