Irving, Texas, Grocers, C-Stores Begin Selling Beer, Wine

Retail outlets seeking state approval

IRVING, Texas -- Grocery stores and convenience stores in Irving, Texas, can now sell beer and wine, said The Dallas Morning News. This week, three Kroger stores became the first supermarkets to offer beer and wine in what used to be North Texas' largest dry suburb, the report said. Irving residents approved the sale of beer and wine in the city in November, after two previous attempts failed at the polls in 2004 and 2006. But the margin of victory the third time around was slim. The measure passed by 776 votes, less than 1% of ballots cast.

"Many of our customers [image-nocss] have wanted the convenience of buying beer and wine in a supermarket in Irving for a number of years," Kroger director of consumer affairs Gary Huddleston told the newspaper.

The number of Irving stores offering beer and wine has been growing since a few smaller outlets began selling alcohol late last year. And more stores are expected to follow suit, said the report.

As of Wednesday, the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission had issued permits for beer and wine sales to a dozen Irving retailers. And city staffers have already approved applications for more than 80 other retail outlets that must now seek approval from the state agency.

Since the latest push for legalizing beer and wine sales began last year, the Irving City Council has written and retooled ordinances aimed at combating the blight and crime that opponents of alcohol sales say follow, the report added.

So far, the city has rejected requests by seven retailers to sell beer and wine because the applicants' businesses were too close to churches or schools. Irving does not allow alcohol sales at stores whose doors are 300 feet from the door of a church or hospital. The city also does not allow such sales at outlets whose property lines are 300 feet from the property line of a public or private school.