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Boomer’s Time Out

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Parent Category: Features

 

 

 

Responding to pressure from the temperance movement and their efforts to moderate/prohibit public alcohol consumption the Volstead Act was proposed December 18, 1917.  After approval by 36 of 48 states the Volstead Act was ratified on January16, 1919.  Despite President Woodrow Wilson’s veto the National Prohibition Act was affected on January 16, 1920 and 1,520 Federal Prohibition Agents were dispatched to enforce the 18th Amendment to our United States Constitution.

 

Whether you have heard of the Nobel Experiment and its outcome or not, Prohibition is no longer a federally enforced national ban; however, it still exists today in some form, providing states with the right to “restrict or ban purchase or sale of alcohol”.   Such a provision gives our union several “dry counties” including Benton County which is host to Bentonville, AR.

Living in a “dry county” provides all matters of interesting adventures for any establishment selling liquor.  At first the owners may think that they will have a golden opportunity because they have the corner on the market; however such thinking lacks duration once the citations begin.

A trio of entrepreneurs living in southern California wanted out believing California was “going to the dogs”.  After considerable exploration they “found Northwest Arkansas and fell in love with the area.  The demographics were perfect with young retired active people and a diverse community of Wal-Mart associates that have moved in from all over”.  The fact that this region was “not your typical sleepy Midwestern town” coupled with the “explosion over the last 15 years” provided “opportunity and potential” for their vision.

Living in southern California Louise “owned 2 IHOPS which her son managed” and his wife Sherry “worked as a collections official for a hospital”.  The three had a bevy of experience to invest in a new project developing the concept of a sports bar.  Not just your average run of the mill sports bar; rather, a unique spin on a sports bar providing live music, dancing, and a restaurant.

The partners each “shared a mutual love of music” and knew that the bar had to include musical entertainment as well as games and TV’s to watch sporting events.  Boomer’s Time Out was born and with “blueprints drawn up on paper” the search began.  After “looking at 3” other locations and each opportunity expiring “for one reason or another”, hope was waning.

One evening after eating at the Shogun steakhouse the 3 “walked out and saw a sign in front” of the now Boomer’s Time Out advertising “for sale or lease”.  Sherry states they “snatched the location up and here we are”!

As with anything in life there have been interesting challenges and some difficulties since the concepts creation.  Living in a “dry county” has been a “huge difficulty”.  The partners believed in the beginning the “dry county” was a “good opportunity because we thought we’ll be one of the only bars, it will be busy, which it is; however, the mayor is very anti-alcohol and he has made it his mission in life to close every bar that opens.   In order for us to operate here we pay $2000/month to the city.  Patrons pay 28% sales tax on liquor and 26% sales tax for beer and 6% regular sales tax.  People are still paying it because we don’t live in the prohibition days anymore”!

“People have moved here from all over and are accustomed to going to their local convenience, grocery, and liquor stores to buy beer.  Here they have to drive elsewhere and this county loses tax money” it could use.  The administration has “tried to make it a punishment to buy or sell alcohol here, as a deterrent.  It doesn’t work, it just makes it harder for us because we have to drive down to Tontitown to get our liquor and we had to buy a big truck, we bought a big Dodge Ram charger which sucks up the gas, something like 12 mpg” it’s a big hassle!

Deterring the sale or purchase of alcohol is one thing, police harassment is quite another.  When law enforcement officials enter an establishment like Boomer’s Time Out with the express purpose of making consumers uncomfortable enough to leave, that is crossing a line. 

Enduring police spotlighting patrons while inside private property was not easy.  “When we first opened the police would come in and shine flash lights around picking people out and requesting their identification to rattle them.  We would even have police park on our parking lot and arrest patrons walking across our parking lot over to the hotel for public intoxication.  All they were doing was walking from one establishment to another on private parking lots, not public streets!  They would also sit and wait for patrons to get in their cars and turn the key on, then arrest them before they even got out of the parking stall!”

Eventually it got to be too much for Boomer’s Time Out owners to take and they took legal action.  “Now we have an attorney in Little Rock who went to the board and said it was ridiculous and had the citations reviewed for public intoxication and over serving.  At the time we had 6 on record.  How can an undercover officer walk in and determine our staff has over served, when a patron could have walked in that way?” 

Of course this was not only happening at Boomer’s Time Out, “it happens everywhere as long as you’re an independent business, they don’t bother corporate chains like Olive Garden and Red Lobster”.  Naturally, those corporate operations have permanently retained legal teams at their disposal.

Perhaps the administration needs to arrive at the same conclusion that John D. Rockefeller Jr. did years ago: “When prohibition was introduced, I hoped it would be widely supported by public opinion and the day would soon come when the evil effects of alcohol would be recognized.  I have slowly and reluctantly come to believe that this has not been the result.  Instead, drinking has generally increased; the speakeasy has replaced the saloon: a vast army of lawbreakers has appeared; many of our best citizens have openly ignored Prohibition; respect for the law has been greatly lessened; and crime has increased to a level never seen before.”

While the 21st Amendment does give states the right to restrict or ban purchase or sale of alcohol, establishments like Boomer’s Time Out remain.  Boomer’s Time Out is the perfect blending of entertainment including live music, dance, sports, great food, and a game room all in a smoke free environment supported by fantastic staff like our server Meghan! 

Not only are the owners of Boomer’s Time Out running a great establishment, they are making money for the community they do business in!  They also give back to that same community by employing people who are experiencing hard times with unemployment and economic distress which is by far a more noble experiment.

People will drink when they want to and unless we desire the return of bootlegging and the speakeasy we may as well make the best of it for everyone because we cannot save people from themselves!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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