Topsail officials ask for vote on change in beer restrictions

Published: Thursday, August 29, 2013 at 05:20 PM.

Pender County voters may have another decision to make when casting their ballots this November.

Topsail Beach commissioners at a recent meeting night unanimously adopted a resolution asking the Pender County Board of Elections to hold a referendum on whether to change current restrictions that permit only "class A" establishments, including hotels, motels and restaurants, to sell beer by the glass.

For the past 50 years, retail businesses have been able to apply for a wine shop permit, allowing the on-premises sale of wine by the glass, but not malt beverages.

Alcoholic Beverage Control officials mistakenly granted an on-off premises permit to sell beer to a Topsail Beach business, The Quarter Moon Book Store, earlier this year.

Quarter Moon owner Lori Fisher said that, following several requests from customers who wanted to enjoy a glass of beer while other patrons sipped wine, she applied for and received the permit in April.

Two months later, she received a call from an ABC official informing her that the permit was granted mistakenly and that it was revoked.

"I'm not only going to lose that beer business, but I'm going to lose that wine business," Fisher told commissioners Wednesday. "They want to go where they can drink both."

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