Randolph County has been a dry county since 1948.
Linda Bowlin is one of the 17-thousand people living in Randolph County. Bowlin says she is tired of the inconveniences that come with being a dry county, “Wet counties want us to go there to buy alcohol. We don’t want to drive anymore. You know we want to come up into the 21st century and be like other counties”.
Bowlin helped lead a group formerly known as Keep Revenue in Randolph.
In 2016 they hired a company to get signatures for a petition to get an alcohol sales vote on the ballot.
The petition was rejected due to procedural errors.
Now she is planning to hold a meeting to start up the process once again.
She says she knows people are interested, “We would like for people to come here if they’re interested in doing the petition process because this time we want to be in charge of it ourselves, meaning the citizens of randolph county and do it perfectly”.
Currently, there are only a couple private clubs and one restaurant with liquor licenses in Randolph County.
Rhonda and Jordan barber are the owners of Bella Piazza, the only restaurant with a liquor license.
They have had their license for a year.
Rhonda Barber says things have been running smooth, “We’ve not had one single problem. You know we monitor so we want everybody to have a good time and also enjoy themselves but it is also our responsibility when they come in and when they walk out”.
Barber says they would like to see other restaurants in their hometown be able to sell alcohol as well.
Before that can happen though, Randolph County must get 3,800 signatures to put the issue on the ballot.
If the wet dry issue were to make it on the ballot in November and passed, it would allow three liquor stores to be opened here in the county.
Bowlin believes if many people get involved it can be done, “The number of signatures is pretty high but with plenty of people helping it’s not gonna be a hard job”.
If you’re interested in helping with the petition process there will be an informational meeting on Sunday, January 28th at 2 PM at the Rendezvous Event Center on West Everett Street in Pocahontas, Arkansas.