City Council: Vote Yes to Property Rights, No to Neo-Puritan South Dallas Jihadists

3:05 p.m. UPDATE: See the end of the entry.

A guy whose operations are tax exempt — and who despite his insistence contrary is opposed to all alcohol sales — is leading a political effort to prevent a business owner from opening a sports bar on South Lamar street. Read his column here in the Dallas Morning News. In fact, he wants a moratorium on all new alcohol-related businesses in all of South Dallas.

Well, allow me to retort.

"Well, allow me to retort."

It’s a jihad disguised as a compassionate crusade.

Business owners wouldn’t want to put sports bar in if there weren’t a demand.

Try as you might, you can’t appeal the law of supply and demand. This won’t accomplish anything except to violate the rights of property owners.

Morning drunks are a symptom of, not the cause of, the endemic problems in the area. Lipstick on a pig and all that.

Let me add that while I have no doubt there have been several voices raised against the bar, and maybe even a petition or something, I just can’t believe they alone represent the wishes of the area.

The owners/investors in the proposed bar have — and I base this on informed speculation, not shoe-leather research — done what every other retail business does in preparation for such an enterprise: extensive market research on the neighborhood and the foot/street traffic that says such a bar would have a local customer base that justifies the investment.

No one throws money into a business start-up on the blind hope they will have a customer base. Especially not in this economy. “Build it and they will come” is a cute movie phrase, but rarely is it found on a business proforma.

If the neighborhood really doesn’t want this sports bar, it will go under very quickly. Just because the opposition is well organized or politically connected doesn’t mean they speak for everyone in the neighborhood. In fact, one idly wonders if the guys who want to build this sports bar committed the sin of not greasing the right palms.

Final point: I understand the importance of clergy in the black community in many areas, but I’m particularly disturbed by the influence any church has on public policy.

Churches should stick to saving souls, not dictating development policy and violating property rights.

At what point does this kind of political activism cross the line? Why is it their lobbying on matters of public policy is tax exempt, while the rest of the voices in the debate are subject to the more onerous tax and regulation laws?

Rev. Britt concludes:

Council members should go even further and impose a moratorium on all new special use permits for liquor-related businesses in South Dallas until neighborhood redevelopment plans are completed. To do otherwise is insensitive, demeaning and disrespectful.

No, what is demeaning and disrespectful is a bunch of jihadist holy rollers trying to impose their neo-prohibitionist will on an entire swath of the city. Because if you peel back the polite facade, that’s exactly what you will see happening.

UPDATE: The power of this blog is just staggering. The Dallas City Council voted unanimously this afternoon to grant the sports bar a special use permit, meaning they can go ahead with opening their business.


  1. Amy S says:

    I disagree with the moratorium, but you can’t deny there isn’t a disparity in “wet” areas between north and south Dallas. This very disparity creates a zone of multiple bars and liquor stores in those areas where it can be sold. I would love to have that little sports bar at Preston-Forest, as would many of my neighbors, but they’d never be licensed there. Restaurants (licensed as a club), yes, bars, no. I would love to be able to go to the Whole Foods or Tom Thumb and pick up a bottle or 6 pack – instead I drive to Addison, which is closer than any of the other wet areas inside Dallas and give them the sales tax proceeds.

    Fear of change keeps the status quo, but look at other cities that do not have these restrictions on trade (Plano, Southlake), they have not ended up with doom and destruction since they changed their liquor laws. In fact much of the beer & wine sales have shifted away from small stores to larger grocers and discounters. There is a lot of money tied into real estate in wet areas, to have the rest of Dallas equalized would negate the mini-monopolies that landlords in Dallas and the ‘burbs have enjoyed in these areas.

    Anyone else remember the battle of Buckingham? How about the county commissioners fight to invalidate a petition to change the wet/dry laws last fall? .

    History of Dallas “dry” movement

  2. Amy S says:
  3. Southeast Dallas (which includes Pleasant Grove as one of its 8 componet neighborhoods) was for years a higher crime scene than most of Dallas… despite being ‘dry’. Today it is (second only to downtown’s small division, per 2008 ) Dallas’ next to lowest crime area. Despite being dry. “Blue Moon.”