Fircrest voters decide to lift longtime ban on alcohol sales

FIRCREST, Wash. -- It had remained the last 'dry' city in our state, but  Fircrest voters decided Tuesday to end its long-standing ban on alcohol.

The vote was an overwhelming yes to lift the ban.

Currently, an area annexed into the city back in the 1990s can serve alcohol, but a mile away it’s been a different story until now.

On a Wednesday night in the heart of Fircrest, Spring Lake Café owner Scott Clement isn’t as busy as he’d like.

“We just can’t offer what the dinner crowd wants,” said Clement of the alcohol ban. “I think they want beer and wine.”

However, soon his menus will be able to include alcohol now that voters passed Fircrest Proposition 1, which ends the longstanding ban on alcohol sales by the glass.

“During breakfast and lunch time, we do great business, and I’m just hoping for an opportunity to match that in the evening, stay open a little later,” said Clement.

Fircrest City Council member Hunter George is excited about the possibilities, too, with what the change could mean for the city.

“In the long term, I hope this makes us more competitive with area cities,” said George. “Tacoma and University Place are basically a stone’s throw from here and they don’t have such restrictions, so this gives owners of our shopping centers another option to provide a different kind of business.”

But not everyone is sold on the idea, like longtime Fircrest resident Linda Still.

“I don’t want a pub, I don’t want a sports bar,” said Still. “I don’t want something going until 2 o’clock in the morning disturbing this neighborhood.”

While Clement understands the concerns, he doesn’t believe lifting the ban on prohibition will change the heart of Fircrest-- just his ability to help keep it pumping.

“I think that the only thing that will be different right now on a Wednesday night is that there will be people in here, having a beer and eating dinner,” said Clement.

Restaurants owners won’t be able to start selling drinks right away. City leaders have to now change the code and decide the limitations of the law. The City Council is expected to discuss the code changes at a meeting on November 24 and take public comment.