ABILENE, Texas - A hotly contested proposed liquor store in south Abilene was approved to open its doors Wednesday.
Taylor County Judge Downing Bolls ruled in favor of the liquor store owners after a heated hearing Wednesday afternoon.
FILO Liquors is located on the corner of Buffalo Gap Road and Rio Mesa Drive. Owners Chris May and Jim Cockfield said they have been trying to open the store for months, but nearby neighbors have been protesting the stores location.
The Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission determined there had to be a hearing between the two parties before a liquor license was granted.
Wednesday, more than a dozen neighbors showed up at the Taylor County Courthouse and argued that the store would increase crime and traffic in the neighborhood.
"We're disappointed with the outcome," said Michael Trook, who represented the neighbors at the hearing. "We protested the license for a reason and those reasons haven't changed. While we may be disappointed and while we may disagree, we're certainly going to respect the due process that we went through."
The owners of FILO Liquors said there is no evidence to back up those claims.
"We're simply trying to operate a business and now they're going to find out that it's not going to be the horror story they think," Cockfield said.
FILO Liquors will have to wait 23 days until they can open their doors.
The license will be up for renewal in two years. At that time neighbors will have another chance to oppose the store's liquor license renewal.
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