Mixed drink sales expected to boost Greene County economy


Greene County voters approved a measure to allow liquor and mixed drink sales inside local restaurants.

“Great tax revenue, more business for my business and a lot of tax revenue for the county,” said Stephan Rouse, Rouse’s Restaurant.

Local restaurants may soon see more foot traffic as they are now approved to begin selling liquor. Not only will the change provide eateries an additional service, but it could mean more profit.

“Once we design a bar we expect somewhere between 50-60% more revenue than what we take in present.”

Greene county voters approved a ballot measure to allow the sale of liquor and mixed drinks in local restaurants across the county. However, it took some serious convincing. For years, the vote to approve liquor sales was shot down four times. Previously voters were concerned the approval of liquor sales would increase drunk driving, but now the topic is being viewed as an economic development issue.

“We really want to hang the welcome sign out,” said Rick Davis, Economic Development Director for Greene County, “and invite people out to the county. Greene County is changing and this is one small piece of that change.”

Restaurant owner, Salvador Tinoco, had to open up his new business in Lenoir County due to years of waiting on the liquor sale approval. He said while some may see the approval as a negative thing from a business stand points its necessary.

“It’s very hard to be a family owned and operated restaurant and to be able to compete with the other markets that offer mixed drinks,” said Salvador Tinoco, owner of Sabor Modern Latin Cuisine in Kinston.

Once the results of the election are passed through the State Board of Election, Greene County commissioners will have to create and approve a new ordinance regulating drink sales in the county.

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