Irving Restaurant Owners Cry Foul Over Alcohol Rule

Entertainment center restaurants will play by different rules

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    A battle is brewing in Las Colinas over Irving's plans for the city's new entertainment center.

    A battle is brewing in Las Colinas over Irving's plans for the city's new entertainment center.

    The center is planned to go up next to the new convention center, which is already taking shape along 114 and Northwest Highway.
    The nine or so restaurants at the entertainment center won't have to comply with Irving's so-called "60-40 rule," regulating how much food must be sold in relation to alcohol.

    Not everyone on city council is sold on the plan.

    "I believe that if the city is going to enact and enforce ordinances, the least we can do is abide by the same laws," said Council Member Beth Van Duyne. "These are going to be city-sponsored restaurants and they are not going to be under the same guidelines and the same laws as the rest of the privately owned restaurants in the city."

    Some restaurant owners and managers said they agree.

    "We're really excited about the entertainment district" said Mickie Crockett, the manager of Cadillac Ranch at Las Colinas. "However, the fact that the city has decided to make themselves exempt from the 60-40 rule of alcohol sales to food sales it's just not fair, it's do as we say and not as we do."

    Irving Mayor Herbert Gears said he doesn't see it that way.

    "We allowed the sale of alcohol at city-owned buildings funded by hotel occupancy tax, period," he countered. "Its not unlike Texas Stadium. You know, you could go into the Texas Stadium Club, and you didn't have a 60-40 requirement in that eating facility inside the venue."

    Some restaurant owners said they aren't convinced. A few met Tuesday afternoon to discuss the situation and look for ways to fight back. They are even considering a lawsuit, but only as a last resort.

    They have some time since the entertainment center and its nine or more restaurants won't be ready to open for more than two years.