New ordinance helps restaurants and hotels sell alcohol

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Published: May. 17, 2023 at 7:36 PM CDT
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MONAHANS, Texas (KOSA) -Restaurants and hotels in Monahans can now serve alcohol like mixed drinks and liquor without needing a private membership.

In the may elections, Monahans Mayor Adam Steen proposed this measure to ease restrictions on businesses in the area.

To serve alcohol before it would require fees, memberships and permits but now, these businesses have less restrictions from the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission.

“With that stipulation, restaurants or bars were classified as a private club and ran as a private club. Had to have memberships and such. Which kind of deterred people from being able to open up business here.” said Monahans Mayor Adam Steen.

While bonds for schools were the talk of many towns in the May elections in Monahans, citizens voted on the new alcohol ordinance.

After months of listening to citizens and business owners, Mayor Adam Steen decided it was time to put this on the ballot.

“You can’t find a chain restaurant today that doesn’t have a bar built into it. So, you know to come in here and have regulations that other communities don’t have, is not enticing for new business.” said Mayor Steen.

It wasn’t just Mayor Steen however. Marielena Saenz is the owner of PJ’s Coffee off of interstate-20 in Monahans.

She and her husband were trying to open up a lounge next to their coffee shop but were confused with the rules to serve alcohol.

So, she went to the city to get answers.

“So, I started asking our mayor, our city officials, and our county officials, and everybody kept sending me in circles. So, none of the official’s kind of understood.” said Saenz.

After Saenz brought this to the cities attention, Mayor Steen took initiative to make sure a new ordinance went through.

Saenz also works on the Monahans Economic Development Corporation, and thinks this will help the future of the city.

“It’s hard to already bring things into Monahans especially when we have that extra hurdle. See that’s my biggest thing, especially with trying to develop Monahans and grow Monahans economically.”

This will also help the new businesses that have just opened. Like the Fairfield by Marriott off of I-20.

“It’s a lot of loops to cross to get liquor into your hotel. And I think with that new law passing, it helps make it easier for us to be able to sell alcohol or liquor.” said Catherine Jackson, operations manager at the Fairfield Inn Suites.

The hotel currently has a bar that isn’t officially open yet, only serving beer. But now, they plan to expand to mix drinks.

Mayor Steen also mentions that he hopes that this new initiative will welcome more businesses to Monahans in the near future.