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Applebee's leaders prepare to answer residents questions

By Elena Watts
Oct. 8, 2013 at 5:08 a.m.
Updated Oct. 9, 2013 at 5:09 a.m.


Applebee's executives are planning a trip to Port Lavaca next Wednesday to answer questions about the restaurant they hope to open.

Town residents are invited to attend the 10 a.m. meeting at the Bauer Community Center at 2300 state Highway 35 North.

"There are rumors that the restaurant will become a rowdy bar after 10 p.m.," said Port Lavaca City Manager Bob Turner. "They are coming to dispel these rumors, so we need those questions asked."

The future of the restaurant hinges on the late-night drinking ordinance that comes to a vote Nov. 5.

"It simply extends drinking two hours during the week and one hour on Saturdays," Turner said. "It's not going to be a drive-thru bar serving pretzels and peanuts."

Some residents, such as Lisa Rodgers, said they welcome the new restaurant but disagree with changing the drinking laws to attract new businesses.

Rodgers said she wants Applebee's to come to Port Lavaca for the food but objects to the club atmosphere it would become after the restaurant closes at 10 p.m.

The longer the bars are open, she said, the more people can drink, the more danger there is on the road and the more crime increases.

Turner said he thinks the school bond issue and legislative issues on the ballot will work in favor of the restaurant.

"I've heard so many positive comments," Turner said. "If they vote, we will win handily."

The Applebee's that is planned for Port Lavaca is one of three in the nation that would be a prototype.

The executives plan to show residents exactly what the new restaurant would look like.

However, executives have told Turner they would not open a location in Port Lavaca without extended drinking hours.

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