On November 6, 2018, citizens that live in the unincorporated area of Williamson County will have the opportunity to vote on whether sale of liquor by the drink will be permissible in restaurants located in the unincorporated area of the County in the same manner which is currently permitted within the municipalities. At this time, restaurants in the unincorporated area of Williamson County are not permitted to sell alcohol by the drink unless the facility falls under specific exceptions approved by the TN General Assembly. Should the measure pass by a majority vote, restaurants in the unincorporated Williamson County area will have the ability to seek a permit from the Tennessee Alcohol Beverage Commission to allow the restaurant to sell alcohol by the drink. Passage of the measure will not permit alcohol to be sold in grocery stores or allow the establishment of liquor stores.
In my opinion, if approved, this measure will level the economic playing field for eating establishments in unincorporated areas, so that they can more fairly compete with those that reside in the municipalities of Williamson County. We have already seen examples of businesses that failed because they could not compete. Allowing restaurants to sell alcohol by the glass will make commercial locations in unincorporated areas more attractive to new restaurants. This would add economic character and health to unincorporated commercial areas especially County villages; for example, Grassland Village.