Bars may soon be coming to Buda


by Melissa Mahadeo / KVUE News with photojournalist Derek Rasor

Posted on November 3, 2012 at 9:32 PM

Updated Sunday, Nov 4 at 6:42 PM

BUDA, Texas -- Julie Renfro owns two restaurants in Buda, Tavern on the Main and Nonna Gina's.

She says right now it costs her a lot of time, cash, and resources to make a drink. That's because  restaurants in Buda aren't allowed to get a beer and wine permit.

Instead restaurants can get alcohol permits but they can only have them if less than half of their revenue comes from alcohol sales. Alcohol permits are traditionally much more expensive than a beer and wine permit.

"It is extremely expensive, many thousands of dollars a lot of times," Renfro said.

But all that may soon change after the upcoming election.

Voters will decide on several items, but the one receiving a lot of attention in Buda is the sale of alcoholic beverages including mixed drinks.

Under proposition 1, businesses can apply for beer and wine permits instead of the mixed beverage permits currently required. It would also mean businesses do not have to make less than 50 percent of their revenue on alcohol sales so they could sell less food.

"Right now we have to have our full kitchen open anytime we want to sell alcohol," Renfro said.

City council member Cathy Chilcote says passing the proposition meant the potential for bars in Buda. She says it would also mean the potential for more jobs and funds coming into the city.

"Instead of going to Kyle or Austin, they can buy here in Buda," Chilcote said. "That is a lot of money going in to the city's budget."

She estimates the city would make at least $123,000 in tax revenues a year. But that's not all, Renfro says it could also mean less locals drinking and driving.

"I think people travel a little further than they need to," Renfro said. "It would be great for people to be able to stay home. Walk across the railroad tracks from home."

On Tuesday, the Buda city council passed an ordinance prohibiting bars from opening within 300 feet of health care facilities, schools or churches.

Chilcote said that way, if proposition 1 does pass, concerned residents do not have to worry about bars popping up in inappropriate places.

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