A group of Dallas business owners wants to eliminate the “wet/dry” lines in Dallas and allow beer and wine sales within the city limits.
The group, Progress Dallas, is backed by the nation’s top two grocery retailers — Kroger and Walmart — plus other grocers and the Greater Dallas Restaurant Association.
Kroger has two stores in Dallas that sell beer and wine and four that cannot, says spokesman Gary Huddleston.
Most of Dallas is dry, except for the stretch between Northwest Highway and the Trinity River. Restaurants and taverns in dry areas can serve beer, wine and liquor through the loophole known as club memberships, but it reportedly can cost a business up to $20,000 a year to operate as a private club.
Progress Dallas has hired Texas Petition Strategies to help them get an item on the November ballot. The group wants a referendum that would end club-membership arrengements and allow beer and wine sales anywhere in the city limits that Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission rules would allow.
This comes two years after a failed petition to allow beer and wine sales in Justice of the Peace Precinct 3, which covers Lake Highlands and much of East Dallas. That petition got enough signatures for a place on the ballot. It was disputed, however, because language in the petition described the current boundaries of JP 3, and not the boundaries as they were when the dry laws were created about 100 years ago.
“We decided the best way to go about it would be to include the city limits of Dallas,” Huddleston says.