Leesburg voters approve liquor referendum

The liquor sales referendum only applies to food establishments

Some restaurant owners in Leesburg have higher spirits this week now that they can legally sell liquor.

"It's going to help my business and I think it's going to help other businesses coming into Leesburg," said Ramiro Alvarez, owner of San Joe's Mexican Grill in Leesburg.

"There's two referendums. One was to allow liquor by the drink and the other one was to allow beer and wine sales on Sunday," said Leesburg Mayor Jim Quinn.

Alvarez says before voters approved a referendum on Tuesday, his food would always come without a signature margarita.

"A lot of people expect their meal with a frozen drink, or a margarita or a daiquiri," said Alvarez. "As soon as they came in and saw that we didn't have margaritas they'd get up and leave."

Quinn says the referendum is a good thing for business in Leesburg, because in Lee County liquor sale are perfectly legal, but the new referendum puts the city on an equal playing field.

"He could have moved 100 yards south and been able to sale liquor by the drink and it's not fair to have that competitive disadvantage, so it's an equal playing ground now for all businesses in Lee County," said Quinn.

The liquor sales referendum only applies to food establishments, so actual liquor stores like aces here in Dougherty County should remain largely unaffected. So it will take another referendum before liquor stores start popping up in Lee County.