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Pampa approves alcohol ordinance meant to boost business

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PAMPA - Alcohol is expected to bring a business boom to Pampa after voters approved an ordinance Saturday to allow mixed alcoholic drinks in restaurants.

80 percent of voters said yes to the ordinance that will allow restaurants certified by the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission to sell mixed alcoholic beverages.

Now business owners, developers, and city leaders are preparing for change.

"We plan to remodel the restaurant and add a bar to the restaurant," Manager of the Plaza Mexican restaurant Selene Duarte said.
     
Duarte says her business isn't the only one that was pulling for the alcohol ordinance to pass.

1,235 of 1,528 voters approved of the change.

"We have a lot of business coming in, like workers coming in from out of town and all that, and they're just looking for a bar to have a drink and watch sports and all that, so I think it should be good," Duarte said.

Pampa is already seeing growth thanks to oil and gas, and the city expects the new alcohol rule to help the local economy keep up with a growing population.

"We've heard through the developers, and what they've talked to us about, that there are other restaurants that are interested in coming here, but they wanted to make sure that they could sell liquor by the drink if they came," Pampa Director of Public Works Donny Hooper said.

An empty lot off 25th Street and Perryton Parkway will soon be home to a new Bennigans restaurant that will serve mixed drinks.

As to whether it will be the first of many big franchise chains to move to Pampa, the city says only time will tell.

The official ground-breaking for the new Bennigans is Tuesday and if that restaurant does well, city leaders say Pampa could see many more chain restaurants in the near future.           

"Anything that's happening development wise is very positive thing for us," Hooper said.

Regardless, local restaurants are preparing for the potential boom.

"If we're going to have competition, we've got to keep up to their standards," Duarte said.

 

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