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- Paris Flash
A local business owner is seeking support from Paris Independent School District for a liquor license filed for a restaurant on Fitzhugh.
Carla Wallace said her soul food restaurant Harlem Nites is moving from Campbell Street to a location on Fitzhugh Avenue. She said hers was the only liquor license filed near Givens Elementary.
“It’s a restaurant. It’s not a club. I only applied for the 12 o’clock permit, which means I have to close by 12,” she told the PISD school board Monday.
The hours would be 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. most days, she said. Friday is the only day she plans to close as late as midnight. Being a restaurant, food has to comprise at least 51 percent of her sales.
“People keep saying the area is bad, but nothing bad has happened at my place,” Wallace said.
The district’s board of trustees approved a resolution last month asking the City Council to adopt a provision that would prohibit the sale of alcoholic beverages with 1,000 feet of any Paris ISD school. City zoning currently keeps any facility selling alcohol at least 1,000 feet away from private schools, but only sets a 300-foot boundary for public schools. The matter came to the district’s attention from an application for a liquor license field with the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission.
The restaurant is in compliance with existing city ordinance at a little more than 500 feet from a school, Superintendent Paul Jones said.
Wallace said the application got held up when someone with TABC saw a news article about PISD’s request. She asked for a letter from the district saying that she was OK. PISD hasn’t stalled the application process, Board President George Fisher said; the resolution was not sent to the city.
“I did say I was against alcohol sales within the corporate limits of our schools,” he said. “I stand with that, but we are not the holdup.”
Wallace’s comments came during the open forum session of Monday’s meeting, which began with a moment of silence for the victims of a shooting at Sparks Middle School in Sparks, Nevada, that left a teacher and the 12-year-old shooter dead and two other students wounded Monday.