Alcohol is on the ballot for King and Rural Hall voters

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KING — Voters in King and Rural Hall will vote on Tuesday to allow the sale of mixed alcoholic beverages in the two communities.

In King, voters will decide whether to allow the sale of mixed drinks in hotels, restaurants, private clubs, community theaters and convention centers, according to a document from the town of King.

King voters will also decide whether an ABC store will be located in the southwestern county municipality of Stokes.

In Rural Hall, voters will decide only whether to allow the sale of mixed drinks in its hotels, restaurants, private clubs, community theaters and convention centers, according to a sample ballot from Forsyth County.

Jane Cole, a member of King City Council, said Friday that she supports King citizens who vote in the city’s booze referendum. Cole declined to reveal his position on the matter.

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“It’s a personal matter whether you’re against it or in favor of it,” Cole said. “I wanted citizens to have the opportunity to express their opinion on this. Anyway, I agree.”

King City Council voted 3 to 1 on January 3 to put the referendum to a November 8 ballot.

Prior to its vote, the council discussed the potential for additional tax revenue for King from the sale of alcoholic beverages, according to the minutes of the Jan. 3 council meeting.

There are numerous signs in King residents’ yards and along city streets supporting and opposing the referendum. Signs say, “Vote No to Alcohol!” and “Vote yes for alcohol”.

Another sign reads: “King Referendum Liquor by the Drink: Vote yes; your right – your choice”.

In smaller print, the sign further reads: “No one should deprive you of your choice whether or not to have a drink with your meal. You don’t want alcohol in the drink, so don’t drink. It’s your choice.”

At the King Public Library on Friday, a man said he objected to the sale of alcoholic beverages at King and Rural Hall. The library is an early voting site at King.

“Alcohol is poison,” the man said. “It poisons people slowly.”

The man, a resident of Rural Hall, declined to identify himself because he wants to maintain his privacy.

Mike Rogers, Republican candidate for the Stokes County School Board, said he agreed with the King’s drink alcohol referendum on the ballot. However, Rogers declined to discuss his position on the matter.

“Citizens who are directly affected should make their voices heard,” Rogers said. “Let the citizens decide.”

Destiney Griffin, director of K4 Tobacco and Vape, said she supports the liquor referendum because it will bring more business to King. His store is in the King’s Mall near South Main Street.

“I like it,” Griffin said. “I want them (the voters) to adopt it.”

A sign near the entrance to the mall reads, “Say no to ABC stores in King.” Protect our children.

Salvatore Looz, co-owner of Little Italy Pizza restaurant in King, said he supports the drink-to-drink referendum in Stokes County’s largest city.

“I hope they (voters) embrace it, but I’m not going to put a bar in my restaurant because I’m not cut out for it,” Looz said.

Selling mixed drinks in King will be good for restaurants in town, Looz said.

Several months ago, Rural Hall City Council voted unanimously to put the mixed drink referendum to a Nov. 8 ballot, council member Terry Bennett said.

“We were looking to extend the growth of the city,” Bennett said.

City leaders also wanted King to receive tax revenue generated from the local sale of alcoholic beverages, Bennett said.

“Without it, we wouldn’t be blessed with great restaurants,” Bennett said. “It opens up opportunities for this type of business.”

George Kontos, co-owner of the Coronet Seafood restaurant in Rural Hall, said he and many of his customers opposed the mixed drink referendum on the Rural Hall ballot.

His restaurant, located at 431 Bethania-Rural Hall Road, is a family business, Kontos said.

“I am opposed to alcohol,” Kontos said. “It’s my belief. I have to follow my beliefs and I will not serve alcohol.”

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