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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