The final score: 4-1 against Applebee's.

That was the vote by the city council on whether or not to make an exception to current law, and allow an interested Applebee's franchise to break ground in Nacogdoches.

At the heart of the matter was - one hour.  The current ordinance on the books does not permit alcohol to be served in restaurants after one in the morning, but Applebee's requested and additional hour, until 2 a.m., to be allowed to serve liquor to its patrons.

According to the City Manager of Nacogdoches, leeway in this matter was tight, because oversight on alcohol sales is handled by the state's Alcoholic Beverage Code, and granting exclusion of the code to one establishment could rightfully open the door to others wanting to extend their drinking hours.

The Applebee's rep proposed a "test run", of sorts, allowing for a reversal of the arrangement, if it was decided at a later date that the additional hour would be problematic for the city in any way.  But, the police department surmised, that call volumes would still be heavy until 4 a.m. due to the extra 60 minutes.  Currently, alcohol related calls die down near 3 a.m., according to the Police Chief.

In a nutshell, it was city tax revenue versus public safety, and in this case, financial rewards could not conquer integrity.

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