Nearly one year after the Heights eliminated its pre-Prohibition ban on retail booze sales, a new proposal that would make it easier for restaurants to serve alcohol in the neighborhood is gaining steam.
Earlier this month, a group called the Houston Heights Restaurant Coalition began circulating a petition in support of a ballot measure that would lift the requirement that bar patrons sign up for a “private club,” among other regulations that make it harder for spots in the Heights to sell booze. Now, a group of restaurateurs and business owners have put more than $120,000 behind the fight, reports the Houston Chronicle.
In order to end up on the ballot for voters to consider in November, supporters of the proposal are required to collect at least 1,500 signatures. A company called Texas Petition Strategies, which has fought similar booze ban battles across the state, has been contracted to collect the signatures, as they did with last year’s measure that allowed retail sales of beer and wine in the Heights.
The move comes at a time when the Heights is hotter than ever, home to some of the city’s buzziest new restaurants and bars, like Better Luck Tomorrow and Star Fish. At present, restaurants are willing to put up with the regulations, despite the strain that it can cause on both new and established spots. ““It causes a significant burden on our operations and capabilities,” Better Luck Tomorrow owner Bobby Heugel told Eater earlier this year. “But we wanted to be in the Heights so badly, we decided to deal with the regulations.”
It’s unclear exactly how many signatures have been collected in support of the measure, but one thing is for sure: restaurant owners in the Heights have no interest in being in the business of operating private clubs.