There are any number of reasons to celebrate the onset of hard liquor sales in Plano over the weekend: It's a victory for democracy. The city gets a half million dollars per year in annual sales tax revenue. Residents no longer have to drive an hour round-trip to liquor up. It moves Texas one tiny step toward having rational alcohol laws that actually make sense. Et cetera.
But no one's celebrating quite as much as Shawn O'Conner, the wine and spirits director for Angel's Beverages at Plano Parkway and Jupiter, aka Plano's first liquor store. The Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission granted its permit on Thursday, and he and his crew were stocking shelves into the wee hours Saturday in preparation for its 10 a.m. opening.
"We've been waiting 25 years for this to happen," he told NBC 5. He says the store has been fielding 25 or 50 calls per day since the liquor-sales referendum in May asking when they can buy the hard stuff.
O'Conner's excitement is understandable. Liquor will no doubt be a big money-maker for Angel's, which was heretofore limited to selling beer and wine, and there's a certain luster to being first. But he might have been letting his glee get the best of him when he predicted to CBS 11 that package stores will enhance Plano's international reputation.
"Businesses from all over the world stop in our store were confused about the laws and why we couldn't sell liquor," he said. "So that'll be a great opportunity to really showcase Plano as an international community."
We're skeptical. We're not denying that alcohol acts as a bridge-builder, we're just assuming that the availability of spirits in suburban Dallas probably isn't the first thing on the mind of global business leaders. That said, we're sure they'll be happy to have drinks close at hand.