Want to sign the petition to legalize alcohol sales in Erath County? Here’s where you can do it.


From left: Aubrey Batten, Court Cole, Lisa Pendleton, Brady Pendleton and John Hatch.

By SARA VANDEN BERGE


It’s astounding when you think about it.


In 2004, there were 75 Chili’s restaurants that operated as a private club.


Today, only one remains, and I bet you can guess where it’s located. Yeah, right here in Stephenville.

But a group of local business owners and residents are working to change that with a proposed measure that would make the sale of alcohol and mixed beverages legal in Erath County.


Getting the measure on the Nov. 2 ballot, however, will take some effort and the group has hired John Hatch with Texas Petition Strategies of Austin to lead the petition drive and campaign.


The effort will require 4,400 signatures on a petition backing the measure by June 4.

Hatch told Beneath the Surface News that his company has conducted more than 450 similar campaigns in more than 250 Texas communities.


“All we are asking for is a level playing field for restaurants,” Aubrey Batten, managing partner at the Stephenville Chili’s, said. “Complying with private club rules is burdensome on the company and confusing to our customers. We appreciate those willing to sign the petition, so voters can decide the issue in November.”


The petition will be placed at various locations across the county, but for now, residents can sign one at Chili’s, Bull Nettle and Hearsay Wine Bar.


Only registered voters can sign the petition.