Just two more days of early voting left before the upcoming special election on May 9th. By this time next week, we'll know whether Lubbock is going wet. If voters decide to approve the expansion of packaged alcohol sales throughout Lubbock County, it could mean the end of Lubbock's infamous "Strip" along Highway 87. Tonight for the first time since the alcohol issue made it on the ballot, a Strip employee is speaking out.
"We would like things to stay the way they are. We have a large investment," says Johnnie Stone, the Supervisor of all the Doc's Beer and Liquor stores in the area. He says they've been operating a store on Lubbock's Strip for at least 25 years, and it's disappointing to see a possible end in sight. He says, "I made a lot of good friends over the years in customers and stuff because we've been here so long so, you just kinda hate to see that change." But, it could change, and soon. On May 9th, Lubbock voters will decide whether they want to expand the sale of packaged alcohol throughout the entire county. If approved, that means certain stores inside the Lubbock city limits will be allowed to sell packaged booze. "If it passes obviously, we'll have no choice but to go to town," says Stone. That means shutting down their location on the strip. "It's a big loss for us. It's very expensive to just pick up from where you are and move to some place else. It's not as easy as just moving to town so, there's a lot of jobs and lot of money at stake."
Nearly 30,000 Lubbock voters have already cast their ballots during early voting, and thousands more are expected to turn out on May 9th. Stone says Doc's would be better off if voters decide not to change the current alcohol laws, but Strip or not, he says their business will survive. "We've enjoyed taking care of our customers for the last 25 or 30 years where we're at and if Lubbock goes wet, we'll move to town and continue to take care of them," Stone says. Now, if you want your opinion on expanding packaged alcohol sales to matter, you still have plenty of time to cast your ballot. Early voting lasts through Tuesday. You can do that at most United Supermarkets in the area. Election day is next Saturday, May 9th. Polls will be open from 7 am to 7 pm.