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City going wet

Dry White Hall is going damp Friday and could become even damper the following week.

Javier Nunez, owner of Ameca Mexican Restaurant, 7401 Dollarway Road, has obtained a private club permit from the state Alcoholic Beverage Control Division of the Arkansas Department of Finance and Administration to serve beer, wine and margaritas with food items at the White Hall business.

Nunez filed for the private club permit on Sept. 19 and received approval of the application from Michael W. Langley, ABC director, on Oct. 17. While Langley’s decision can be appealed to the ABC Board, the decision can only be lodged by an individual or organization objecting to the permit when it was an administrative decision.

No objections were lodged, Langley said, limiting the options of an opponent.

The ABC said it sent notices of the application to Prosecuting Attorney Kyle Hunter, Jefferson County Sheriff Gerald Robinson, White Hall Mayor Noel Foster and Police Chief Richard Wingard and solicited their comments. No negative comments were filed by the four.

Nunez told The Progress earlier that he will not operate a bar in the restaurant, but would serve only beer, wine and margaritas with food purchases. While the restaurant is open seven days a week, no intoxicants will be sold on Sundays, he added.

The restaurant owner said he has 140 members signed up for the private club and plans on charging a nominal membership fee of $3-5 annually. Nunez owns and operates Mexican restaurants in Stuttgart and DeWitt. Both Arkansas County restaurants are licensed to sell intoxicants, he added.

Beau Talbot IV, owner of Beaucoups Cajun Café, a 52 seat restaurant at 7003 Dollarway Road, has submitted paperwork for a private club permit application, and is awaiting a Nov. 14 decision from Langley on his application to serve beer, wine and other intoxicants with food purchases.

Like Nunez, Talbot told The Progress Monday he does not plan to operate a bar in the restaurant, but would serve only beer, wine and a specialty drink, the popular New Orleans “Hurricane,” with food items. Talbot also said no intoxicants would be sold on Sundays if the permit is approved.

The ABC sent notices of Talbot’s permit application to the prosecuting attorney, sheriff, White Hall mayor police chief soliciting their comments. A sign signaling the permit application has been filed is posted at the restaurant.

Talbot said he has 190 members signed up for the private club and plans on charging a $5 membership fee that will be offset by a food coupon of equal value.

Talbot operates White Hall MotorSports at the Dollarway Road address, having built a 5,474 square foot showroom, shop and restaurant addition to the Talbot Enterprises Inc. business offices.