Whitehouse resident Pat Phillips was on hand to see Speedy Pantry convenience store receive its first shipment of beer Thursday morning.
Standing near the front of the business on Texas Highway 110 South as a Budweiser truck made its delivery, Phillips said, “I love it.”
The delivery — about 300 cases — marked the first alcohol to arrive in Whitehouse since voters approved the sale of beer and wine last month. On May 22, the city signed off on five applications from those seeking permits to sell alcohol, Assistant City Manager Kevin Huckabee has said.
They were: Brookshire’s Grocery Co., Texas Highway 110 North; Kidd-Jones, Texas Highway 110 North; Speedy Pantry, Texas Highway 110 South; JR’s Beer & Wine LLC, West Main Street; and Exxon, Texas Highway 110 North.
Once applicants get permits from the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission, they could come back to the city, get their city permit and have the ability to sell, Huckabee said last month.
Phillips, 63, said he was pleased that Whitehouse has alcohol.
“I’m just glad to see it help the tax situation in Whitehouse,” he said.
Whitehouse resident Jordyn Rumsey, who is in her 20s, said she believes those who are going to drink will do so whether Whitehouse is dry or wet. Still, she said it was exciting to see alcohol come in.
Speedy Pantry manager Amber Nettles said the store’s business will increase from alcohol sales as it has in other stores. She said Thursday that the store’s first shipment of wine would likely arrive that day or today.
“It’s always interesting to see the different walks of life that come in,” she added.
But not everyone had positive feelings about alcohol coming into Whitehouse.
Gary McDonald, senior adult pastor at First Baptist Church, has grandchildren in Whitehouse.
He said he wishes alcohol hadn’t come in, and he believes it isn’t good to have alcohol available in stores there.
Tyler resident Jim Jackson, who works with youth at First Baptist Church in Whitehouse, is a former Whitehouse resident.
He said his family moved to Whitehouse because it was a nice, quiet area for families.
And now that alcohol sales are approved, he said his question is, “Is the quality of life going to be the same?”
In the future, more deliveries are expected in Whitehouse.
Brookshire’s anticipates that its TABC application will be approved next week and that the Whitehouse store “would begin accepting deliveries and selling product immediately,” according to a Brookshire’s statement.
As far as the selection, the Whitehouse store will offer “more than 300 varieties of craft, imported and specialty beer as well as an expanded variety of domestic and imported wines,” the statement reads.
For those who do sell, there is a city ordinance that outlines regulations.
Beer and wine may be sold via a drive-through “to the extent allowed by state law,” according to the ordinance.
The ordinance states that on-premise consumption is allowed at restaurants or motels that have a food and beverage certificate and “whose revenue from the sale of (alcohol is) less than 50 percent of its gross revenue.”
Billboards, electric signs or outdoor advertising “for the sale or consumption” of alcohol is not permitted in Whitehouse, according to the ordinance.