Porterdale voters will weigh more than presidential primaries on Super Tuesday as they vote on an alcohol referendum on the sale of distilled spirits by the drink for on-premises consumption.
This latest referendum is the most recent in a series of measures which have eased the sale of alcohol within city limits. In November, Porterdale voters approved a referendum on the Sunday sale of beer and wine by the glass. Also in November, the Porterdale City Council voted to extend the hours a restaurant can serve alcohol on Friday and Saturday nights to 1:45 a.m. Previously beer and wine could only be sold until midnight.
Tuesday's referendum is viewed by proponents as the last obstacle standing in the way of attracting a large restaurant to the empty 4,000-square foot restaurant space in the Porterdale Mill Lofts.
Walter Davis, owner and developer of the Lofts, said he is hoping to attract a restaurant similar to a Long Horn Steakhouse.
"It's a lot more difficult when they're not allowed to sell alcohol," Davis said. "That's paramount as far as the type of restaurants we're trying to get in there."
According to Davis, many large restaurants are hesitant about moving to a city which does not permit the sale of hard alcohol as the sale of such alcoholic beverages is a significant portion of their revenue.
Davis said he has shown the space to a number of prospective restaurants however many of them are waiting for the results of Tuesday's referendum before making a decision.
"We don't have a firm commitment from a tenant on it right now," Davis said.
Kania Wethington, an employee at Jimbo's Grill at the Mill, said the restaurant, which currently serves beer and wine by the glass, is hoping the referendum passes as well. Wethington said if the referendum passes, Jimbo's would begin to serve hard alcohol.
Voting on the alcohol referendum and to elect a new councilmember to fill the vacant Council Post 3 seat will take place at the city's Volunteer Fire Department. Voting for the state's presidential primary will take place at Porterdale Baptist Church.