CLARKE COUNTY. Miss- There are currently eight completely dry counties in the state of Mississippi. But Clarke County could be taken off of that list soon.
Next Tuesday the county will vote on legalizing the sale of alcohol, something it has never done before.
Eddie Fulton, the mayor of Quitman, has been the leader in the push to legalize alcohol in Clarke County.
One of the issues in getting this law passed, according to Fulton, is that ministers are concerned that legalizing alcohol will bring bars and drinking spots to the county, which is something they don’t want. Fulton says the proposed law would prevent that from happening, as it would require restaurants to have at least 75 percent of sales be from food and at most 25 percent from alcohol.
“I told them, I said you can’t have a bar, you can’t have this, and they don’t understand why,” said Fulton. “And I said you [have to] sell 75 percent. Well how do you know, you gonna check my books? Absolutely, we’re [going to] check, and if you violate, you’re out of business. And do I mean that? Yes. I mean that.”
If this ordinance does pass next week, many businesses stand to gain economically from being able to sell liquor and beer. One of those businesses is Mimmo’s Ristorante and Pizzeria.
“I think it’s going to be good for Quitman, I think it’ll be good for our business,” said Tracy Mollett, a worker at Mimmo’s. “[It will] create a few more jobs, help the economy some…Being able to sell wine, I mean a lot of people just like to have a glass of wine with their dinner, and with the Italian food that we have, it really pairs well with it. And I mean I think that will be good for us.”
Mayor Fulton told me he is confident that the ordinance will pass, but in the end, it all comes down to next Tuesday’s vote.