FILO Liquors holds open house to meet with protestors

Liquor open house

ABILENE, Texas - A liquor store that set up shop in south Abilene is working to earn its place in on a residential and commercial street despite recent protests.

FILO Liquors has been waiting to open its doors for several months, but its location on Rio Mesa Drive and Buffalo Gap Road has some residents upset.

Those residents recently filed a petition with a Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission to prevent the store from opening, even though it is located in a commercial section on a residential street.

Some neighbors fear the store will decrease the value of their homes and increase the crime and traffic in the area.

The public hearing on the matter is scheduled for Wednesday and the store owners hosted an open house Saturday for protestors to get acquainted with the business; however, only supporters came out to the open house and upset neighbors stayed home.

Co-owner Jim Cockfield said he was looking forward to meeting with some of the protesters to address their concerns.

"There's a lot of misconceptions about what we're doing here -- there's a lot of concerns about various thing -- about drunks in the parking lot," Cockfield said. "It's completely illegal to drink in a liquor store. You can't even drink on the property. Things like that we wanted to address."

One neighbor said she did not attend the open house because she would rather express her opinion at the public hearing.

The supporters who made an appearance at the event said they wish their neighbors would give the store a chance.

"Come down here and check it out for yourself and find out that it's going to be a much classier place than local liquor stores that are already here," said Kevin Owen, a nearby resident.

As for the increased crime and traffic, one supporter said he does not expect that to be an issue.

"Traffic wise, there's more high school kids that go racing through the neighborhood. I doubt if somebody stopping at the liquor store would be driving through the neighborhood," said Henry Dorsey, a nearby resident.

The public hearing will be at the Taylor County Courthouse on 1:30 p.m. Wednesday, April 9.

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