Neighbors Support Action Against Two Dallas Liquor Stores

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The Dallas City Council this week took action that could close two Martin Luther King Boulevard liquor stores that neighbors consider a nuisance.

Nonprofit groups have big plans for the area where the stores are located.

There is precedent for closing Dallas businesses, but it is a long process.

The two stores in question are Bid D Beer at 1405 Martin Luther King Boulevard and Good Price Beer at 1519 Martin Luther King Boulevard.

People hang around the stores at all hours of the day. But Dr. Terry Flowers, Headmaster of the St. Philip’s School and Community Center around the corner, said they become an outdoor nightclub later in the day.

“It’s been permitted for far too long. It presents a plague for the community,” Flowers said. “Sometimes there are fires there, from people keeping warm. And it’s just a nuisance for the area”

St. Philip’s has a shopping center under renovation across the street with a much different vision.

Julie Saqueton is St.Philip’s Chief Community Advancement Officer.

“We're just excited about revitalization, to really building on the history and bringing back that walk-able urban mixed-use,” she said.

Nearby Cornerstone Church has a laundry and other neighborhood services planned in a building it is renovating on Ervay Street near the liquor stores.

A revival for the old Forest Theater on Martin Luther King Boulevard is being finalized.

City rezoning forbid liquor stores at these locations in 2009 but they were allowed to stay until now because they had been in business years before that.

The Dallas City Council voted Wednesday for a Board of Adjustment review of the stores that could lead to closure.

“All they're doing is keeping our community down,” said City Councilman Adam Bazaldua. “This is the type of activity outside of a business that would not be tolerated in any other part of the city.”

Bazaldua said he opposes government bullying of small businesses but supports this step as a last resort because these stores have refused to cooperate with neighbors.

NBC 5 found listed phone numbers for the stores out of service Thursday. Messages left at what appeared to be property owners from a list of public records were not returned.

“We have a shared experience then. We've had the same level of difficulty in getting a response,” Flowers said.

There is precedent for closing Dallas businesses against their will.

An automotive shop was ordered to leave when Ross Avenue was rezoned residential.

A car wash on Martin Luther King Boulevard was closed, not far from where the liquor stores are under review now.

“I would say that a year from now you’ll be looking at an area of South Dallas, Fair Park, on Martin Luther King Boulevard, that would make Martin Luther King Junior smile,” Flowers said.

The dream may take that long to wind through the Board of Adjustment process.

And the stores could be given even longer than that to remain in business.

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