It was way back in February that Gary Huddleston, the Dallas market's director of consumer affairs at Kroger, first made it known he was leading yet another effort to get Dallas all wet and make it possible to buy beer and wine wherever citywide. Nine months later, the treasurer of Keep the Dollars in Dallas is this close to making it a reality -- pending, of course, the final tally of today's votes and whatever legal challenge attorney Andy Siegel (and Goody Goody and Centennial and ...) may wind up throwing onto the courtroom floor.
Huddleston and the Keep the Dollars in Dallas peoples are at Pappadeaux Seafood Kitchen in Oak Lawn. With a two-to-one margin for Prop. 1 (the beer and wine referendum) and an even wider gap for Prop. 2 (eliminating private memberships in eateries selling booze), he's about to crack open a bottle of wine, matter of fact. And he tells Unfair Park that, sure, the votes ain't all counted, but he's feeling mighty good right about now: "We appreciate that the voters saw the benefit of keeping the dollars in dallas and allowing the sale of beer and wine in grocery stores and convenience stores."
I asked him: Do you expect Siegel to challenge the results?
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Update at 9:57 p.m.: With almost all the votes counted, it's a lock: Dallas is no longer dry, at least not when it comes to beer and wine. At present, it's 107,936 for and 55,585 agin. Do continue with your piece in progress, but this sidebar: City Manager Mary Suhm's propsals to sell Elgin B. Robertson and Joey Georgusis parks will not pass -- by some 10,000 votes, if the thus-far results hold. More about that in the morning.
"First, it would be unfortunate if Andy Siegel and the liquor industry challenges an election that appears to be overwhelmingly in favor of beer and wine in convenience stores and grocery stores. [Siegel] has already attempted to challenge [the petitions], and the judge dismissed his suit. So, we are feeling good about tonight, understanding that Andy Siegel and the liquor industry may challenge us, which would be unfortunate."
Huddleston also cautions: If the results hold up, you're not going to be able to buy beer at the Preston Forest Whole Foods tomorrow. Though the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission has thousands of folks lined up with their applications in hand, it'll take a good, long while for this to ferment. As in: The city still needs to review the permits. After which the county jumps in. After which the TABC takes its look-see. "I would caution residents they won't see beer and wine in a Kroger till February," he says.
Now, where's my Knob Creek? Oh. Right there.