Wet or Dry? The People Will Decide

Wet or Dry? The People Will Decide

If you want to pick up a six pack in Graham, you can't. You have to drive to another town. It's been that way for over a century, and now some are saying it's time for a change.
Mike Elmore is a man on a mission.

He's the spokesman for Graham Wet, and recently collected enough signatures to put a measure on the November ballot which will allow residents to decide to keep Graham dry, or make Graham wet.

"Of course, the ultimate goal is to keep the money in Graham," said Elmore, "Shop Graham."

Elmore said if people want to drink, they'll find a way. And because of that simple fact, he said the City is leaving money on the table.

"It's just money that we're losing that we've been handing out for years," Elmore explained.

Today, only a handful of restaurants in Graham sell liquor, and they're only allowed to do it through memberships.

Elmore said if passed, his measure would do away with memberships, and allow grocery stores and gas stations to sell alcohol.

Bars, however, would still be prohibited.

"I'm going to say I hired about 7-10 more people since I started selling alcohol," said Jonathan Gonzalez, the owner of Neri's on the Square in Graham.

For the first eight months Gonzalez was open, he didn't sell alcohol.

When he made the decision to allow members to buy a drink, though, his sales skyrocketed.

"They doubled," said Gonzalez, "they definitely doubled the sales, I doubled in staff. Doubled in customers coming in here, and it hasn't stopped since then."

Gonzalez said he understands why some don't want Graham going wet, but as a businessman, he said the numbers speak for themselves.

For Mike Elmore, that's what the measure is all about.

Allowing businesses in Graham to thrive, and attracting new customers to town.

"Graham is a wonderful, wonderful place," said Elmore, "and we want you to come visit us, and we want you to be able to have everything that Fredericksburg and Grapevine and South Lake have, except a little better."

Stay dry or go wet?

A question the people of Graham will answer in November.
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