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Fort Worth May Amend Liquor Sale Law For Businesses Near Schools

(credit: KTVT/KTXA) Joel Thomas
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FORT WORTH (CBS 11 NEWS) - Shaw’s Restaurant is a popular destination in the upcoming Magnolia Street area for people craving a good hamburger or hot dog. But, like other restaurants, Shaw’s depends on its liquor sales to survive.

Getting a city permit for the bar nearly cost David Shaw his business before it could even open. His restaurant is within 300 feet of a school. By city law, he would have to have special permission from the school district to serve alcohol so close to a school building. Getting that permission was a battle that lasted for months.

“Which is why we didn’t open when we wanted to open, and it cost me a lot of money,” Shaw said.

Shaw said he loves the location and he is happy in the area. But, the struggle obtaining his liquor permit was noticed by other potential business owners.

“There was a high end restaurant that was looking up here next to Mama Mia’s,” Shaw said pointing to a neighboring restaurant. “Once they found out the problem I had they said, ‘We’re done. We’re not going to look’.”

To take the burden off of business owners in mixed use areas, Fort Worth is looking to change its law.  It wants to eliminate the 300-foot rule in urban developments like this.

“We want to do things that are appropriate and are safe and make sense,” said Fort Worth spokesperson Bill Begley. “But we also want to make sure that we are doing the things that encourages development in these areas that fit into the overall master plan for the City of Fort Worth.”

The district says it won’t do anything to hamper business when it moves into a new downtown location near the Intermodal Transportation Center later this year.  But it would likely oppose changing the rules city-wide. The city, district and business owners will meet in coming weeks to try to iron out changes all sides can live with.

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