SEARCY, Ark. (KTHV) -- Wednesday, the Rock House won approval for a private club permit by the ABC in a 5-0 vote.
They're the first restaurant in the town to sell alcohol by the glass. Restaurant owner, Craig Robinson, said it's been a battle since they first applied.
“There's been some negativity since we first applied. There's been opposition and there was opposition at the hearing itself. We know that that's out there but our position is that we're not trying to force anything on anyone, we just want to give our guests that option,” he said.
He said so far his customers have been supportive of the license.
“As far as everyone that has been in here today, it's all positive. I haven't heard anything negative from our people that come in,” he said.
There’s a lot of controversy when you bring alcohol into a dry county and some people living in Searcy said they're upset because Harding University is right across the street from the Rock House. Jana Rucker, Vice President of Harding University Communications and Enrollment, said the school is concerned about the safety of the of the campus community. She said the school has a code of conduct in place for a reason.
“We know the limitation on alcohol is a big part of the reason we have low crime and low incidents on campus,” she said.
Rucker said this was not the outcome Harding University was hoping for.
“At the end of the day we all want what's best for Searcy, but we may not all agree on what that looks like. But we're really proud and thankful to be a part of this great community,” she said.
Wednesday, El Almacen also went before the ABC board looking for the same type of permit but got turned down. Three members had problems with the placement of the restaurant’s public notice, but the decision may be revisited. Colton's in Searcy also has a pending appeal and its hearing comes up sometime in September or October.