Landrum alcohol referendum passes

Published 8:24 pm Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Landrum voters approved a referendum to allow the sale of alcohol in restaurants on Sunday during municipal elections Nov. 8.

A total of 281 residents cast ballots in favor of the measure 151 to 130.

“From the benefit of an economic standpoint, I’m glad that the referendum passed,” said newly re-elected councilman Jon Matheis. “I think it will bring additional revenue to our town and make us competitive with other cities in our area.”

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

Landrum Tomorrow, a group of business owners and citizens, sent out about 400 mailers pushing for the change.

““We have to look at the big picture. It’s not just about selling alcohol on Sundays. It’s about getting people to visit,” Landrum Tomorrow leader Suzanne Strickland said before the referendum was held.

The approval of the referendum will only apply to sales within restaurants. It does not affect off-site alcohol sales, such as from convenience or grocery stores.

Landrum City Council members first approved allowing the referendum to take place back in April. At the time they heard from business owners like Barbara Britt, owner of el Chile Rojo. Britt said not being able to sell alcohol on Sunday limited her customer base, especially when out-of-town visitors expect to be able to enjoy a beer or margarita with lunch or dinner.

“In the past I’ve had numerous customers come in and often they wouldn’t be from here so we’ve had to turn them down when they tried to order a drink. They politely get up and leave,” she said at the time.

Britt said she was frustrated by customers heading across the state line to North Carolina to eat dinner when they could be staying in Landrum.

These results are all according to unofficial results.