Oak Cliff Restaurateurs Anxious for Alcohol Sales Vote

An earlier version of this story contained a claim by Dallas restauranteur Chris Zielke that the family of an attorney representing a group opposed to making Dallas a "wet" city owns a liquor store chain. However, attorney Andy Siegel has no connection to Sigel's. NBCDFW.com regrets the error.

Even four months away from the November vote that could turn Dallas into a "wet" city, restaurateurs in Oak Cliff are looking forward to a "yes" vote.

"It's very difficult to run a restaurant in a dry area," Chris Zielke, one of the owners of Bolsa in Oak Cliff, said. "All-in-all, it probably costs me $50,000 to $60,000 a year to be dry."

"It's kind of a hassle now to be able to come here and drink alcohol," said Bonnie Rodela, of Eno's restaurant.

November's vote would change the way some restaurant owners operate in Dallas, especially when it comes to bar service. Bolsa, for one, already has plans in the works if the measure passes.

"We have signed a lease on the building next door where -- we're not announcing what we're doing -- but it is contingent on the vote going though," Zielke said.

But it won't be an easy road to Election Day; several people are opposed to the alcohol sales ballot initiative.

Dallas Mayor Pro Tem Dwaine Caraway has voiced his opinion before.

"Now, what if people in the south decided that we wanted to put together a referendum and we wanted to make all of Dallas dry?" Caraway said.

And an organization of ministers, homeowners and package stores has a lawsuit pending to keep the proposal off the November ballot. Attorney Andy Siegel represents them.

"There's a right way and a wrong way to wet up the city," Siegel said. "This is real serious business. We're talking about parts of the city and neighborhoods that have been dry for 100 years plus."

"Of course you have people that don't agree with it," Rodela said.

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