Mixed drink referendum divides Bertie Co. residents

WINDSOR, N.C. (WNCT) – Bertie County residents could see more restaurants popping up after Election Day if a majority of voters vote “yes” on a mixed drink referendum that would allow restaurants to serve mixed drinks to customers.

“Hopefully, you know, some restaurants will come through, and maybe we will be able to serve them,” said Clinton Freemon, a Bertie County ABC Board member. “Maybe they will come, and (it) will be a better attraction knowing that they can serve mixed beverages in their restaurants.”

Bertie County resident June Clemmons said she wasn’t sure she agreed.

“It’s kind of a mixed thing,” said Clemmons. “No pun intended”

Clemmons said she understands it may bring business to the county “but in the other hand you have to worry about people who will abuse it; who will sit and drink to the point of excess.”

She said regardless of how they manage alcohol consumption “people are going to drink anyways.”

However, Freemon said there is an upside to more controlled drinking.

“It’s going to reduce fatalities and reduce DWIs,” said Freemon. “It’ll make the roads safer, and I think it will (be) an overall good thing.

Many restaurants who could use the mixed beverage sales are working to get back to business after two back to back flooding events.

Throughout Bertie County, 58 businesses are still working to reopen, and 90 residents are out of their homes since September.

Sheriff John Holley said community outreach is what is keeping everyone’s spirits lifted.