Big Dallas retail competitors have united to gather signatures for a citywide beer-and-wine sales referendum.
Kroger, Albertsons and Walmart want to sell beer and wine in all their Dallas stores. Currently, more than half of Dallas is dry.
“It’s a little confusing sometimes to our customers,” said Gary Huddleston with Kroger.
The companies' stores look the same from the outside, whether or not they sell beer and wine.
Huddleston said Dallas is losing business to neighboring cities that sell beer and wine.
“We believe it’s about $10 million tax revenues for the city of Dallas if the customers could buy beer and wine within the city of Dallas,” Huddleston said.
Supporters have 60 days to gather nearly 70,000 valid voter signatures to place the issue on the November ballot.
A companion question on the ballot would remove limitations on beer and wine sales in restaurants.
Restaurants in dry areas must now show that customers are members of a private club in order to sell them beer or wine.
Matt Spiller, the owner of Eno’s Pizza Tavern in the Dallas Oak Cliff Bishop Art’s District, is supporting the petition drive to remove the restrictions on his restaurant.
“It’s a deterrent for us as a business owner here,” Spiller said. “We want to be able to keep it easy for our customers going through our doors.”
Furthermore, Spiller said he must go to the expense and trouble of keeping records on each sale to present to the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission.
“We just want to level out the playing field," he said. "We want to have the same opportunity, the same rights as other parts of Dallas have."
But some people who live in dry areas say they like it that way and do not want the rules changed.
“I think they should leave it just like it is," said customer Phyllis Rector out side a dry Kroger store in Oak Cliff. "We don’t need that over here. We don’t need beer and wine. They can go across the bridge and get their beer and wine.”
Map of Dallas' Wet and Dry Districts