Chatham County's business community and its slow-growth citizen groups have fought contentious battles over suburban sprawl and economic development priorities over the last decade, but members of both sides have allied behind one mission: A call for mixed drinks.
During early voting now under way, and at polls on May 5, citizens have the chance to agree or disagree with a change that would allow hard liquor by the glass in Chatham establishments. With the exception of a few places that hold special permits, Chatham restaurants and bars currently may sell only beer and wine on site.
|Here's a look at the issue, by the numbers|
|2||Number of referendum committees campaigning for the change|
|0||Number of referendum committees campaigning against|
|3,254||Dollars raised by committee Positive Revenue Options (PRO) from contributors, including the Distilled Spirits Council, a national lobby group based in Washington, D.C., ($2,000); and local restaurant and bars, such as Pittsboro's Carolina Brewery ($250), City Tap ($200) and Virlie's restaurant ($100). The second group, People's Alliance for Spirit Sales (PASS), has raised $195 from individuals, $100 of which came from Pittsboro Mayor Randy Voller, an organizer of both PACs.|
|37,000||Dollars the county expects to spend on the special election|
|951||Number of voters who had cast their ballots in early voting as of April 27|
|101||Number of active, permanent alcohol permits of all types registered in Chatham County|
|306||Equivalent number of permits in Orange County|
|917||Equivalent number of permits in Durham County|
|2,252||Equivalent number of permits in Wake County|
Proponents are planning a rally with food and live music Friday, May 1, at Piedmont Biofuels in Pittsboro; see chathamvote4mixedbeverages.org for more info.