Manteo voters approve liquor-by-the-drink

By on June 8, 2011

About 25 percent of the town’s registered voters turned out Tuesday to approve sales of liquor-by-the-drink in Manteo.

Unofficial results from the Dare County Board of Elections showed 61.5 percent of those voting in favor and 38.4 percent against serving mixed drinks in the town’s restaurants.

Manteo was the last holdout among Dare County’s incorporated towns on the mixed-drink question. Of the 1,073 registered voters, 265 went to the polls.

The special election was at least the fifth attempt to legalize mixed drinks in Manteo.

Another special election July 12 in Avon, Salvo, Waves and Rodanthe was spurred by the southern half of the island passing a mixed beverage measure last year, after first trying nearly 10 years before.

If the Hatteras Island referendum passes, less than a handful of establishments in Wanchese and Colington — there are none on the mainland — would still be unable to sell mixed beverages.

In Manteo, restaurant owners campaigned for the measure while opponents warned it would bring in chain restaurants and change the character of the town.

One of the last holdouts in Dare County, Southern Shores, voted for mix drinks in 2005, after two previous referendums failed. Similarly in Hyde County, where Ocracoke Island is located, liquor by the drink was approved in 2006 after two earlier rejections at the polls.

Columbia, in Tyrrell County, has sold mixed drinks since last May.


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June 9, 2011 5:46 pm

have you ever tried to get something off the book, after it is on. good luck

Connie F.

June 9, 2011 9:11 am

Since this is at least the 5th referendum, which means it was defeated at least 4 times, can we bring the issue up again in a few years and try to vote it out again?

P C resident

June 9, 2011 8:43 am

I’m glad it passed – people in Manteo that want a mixed drink won’t have to drive (and you know they do) over to Nags Head or farther and drive back.

Chain restaurants will not come to Manteo. Manteo has so many strict rules for size, look of the building, set backs, no more drive-thrus – that large chains might look at the numbers and situation and say no thanks.


June 9, 2011 6:50 am

There’s no chance a chain restaurant will come to Manteo even with liquor by the drink. Even if there were a large enough year-round population RIBA won’t allow the competition.

Jeremy D Adams

June 9, 2011 12:00 am

I’m glad to hear this passed.

If you don’t want chain restaurants in your town, then make great mom and pop places that run efficiently and attract people.

I personally (and there are many like me) that are much more interested in visiting mom and pop places. But if they are piss poor or there isn’t a market to support them, then they won’t exist.


June 8, 2011 6:05 pm

no matter how good a law or bad a law, it takes a lil’ of your freedom away. i do not have that much freedom left.


June 8, 2011 4:30 pm

It would be interesting to find if there is any change on Roanoke Island in the number of DUI’s this summer compared to previous years.

If you must go out to drink, please have a Designated Driver along or call a cab.


June 8, 2011 1:14 pm

12 ounces of 5% alcohol beer
5 ounces of 12% alcohol wine
1.5 ounces of 40% alcohol whiskey, gin, rum, etc
It’s all the same amount of alcohol in the glass. It’s the number of glasses consumed that cause the problem.
Frankly, I liked sitting on the deck at Striper’s with a pound of shrimp and ONE Bloody Mary at sunset watching the boats. Now there’s more than one place.


June 8, 2011 11:58 am

As a frequent visitor (5 or 6 times a year) I can say that this makes me happy. I would rather have my dollars supporting the restaurants in Manteo than those on the other side of the bridge, and that includes PC.

I do not think there will be any chains opening up, so that is not a worry.

Just a tourist’s perspective,for what it is worth.

Kathy Sparrow

June 8, 2011 9:50 am

Manteo is too small a market to support a chain restaurant – other than McDonald’s (low end). Applebee’s on the beach has trouble and they pull from a much larger market. Chain stores depend on VOLUME. Manteo just doesn’t have it 6 months a year.

Russ Lay

June 8, 2011 9:50 am

Mico–there is still Colington Road outside of KDH :)


June 8, 2011 7:37 am

I’ll drink to that!


June 8, 2011 6:47 am

This opens us all up to chain restaurants now…we’ll be GEBx (Generic Eastcoast Beach) in no time!


June 8, 2011 5:41 am

What’s the world coming to?

Smoking and drinking get passed in one week..

Can’t wait for next week’s earthshaking news.

Tim Christian

June 8, 2011 1:16 am

This will change the Town of Manteo. Hopefully not for the worse. It was a sad day in 2006 when the Weeping Radish closed.

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