Liquor store owners have until Oct. 31 to turn in ballot measure signatures
The Oklahoman's Brianna Bailey chatted with readers Thursday about Oklahoma City retail and other business news. You can join Brianna's Q&A's at 10 a.m. the second Thursday of every month. Below is an abridged transcript of the chat.
Q: I keep hearing about Costco looking at possible areas on Memorial. ... Rumors, or is there something to it?
A: I think that it's probably likely Oklahoma City will have a Costco in the next two to three years, and Memorial Road seems like a natural place for them to go. Makes sense.
Q: Do you know if the garages around the BOK Park Plaza will have ground-floor retail?
A: Steve Lackmeyer says watch for an upcoming story on this topic. I know city design district guidelines for downtown try to encourage ground-floor retail for all new developments.
Q: How confident are you that State Question 792 will pass? Seems like a thing voters could mess up. And if it does pass, will it guarantee we finally get a Wal-Mart (or any grocery store) downtown?
A: The Yes on 792 campaign has a lot of money they are throwing at this issue. They won't release their internal polling, but say the numbers are good, and they have strong support. I think it's going to pass.
Q: I was wondering if you had any news on what was going to fill the old Macy's spot in Quail Springs, either as a more permanent lease or something temporary in the interim?
A: Costco is a rumored suitor for the Macy's space at Quail Springs, but they have so far denied they plan to open a store there. I think it's also possible the Macy's space could be broken into several smaller stores and restaurants, or used in some nontraditional way.
Q: Another question related SQ 792. The liquor store owners were getting signatures to put another question on the ballot that would have limited sales of wine and strong beer within a certain proximity of existing liquor stores. Do you know if they got enough signatures to have that proposal placed on the ballot?
A: The liquor store owners are promoting an alternative ballot measure called State Question 791. The measure proposes limiting the distance between liquor stores and grocers with wine licenses to 500 feet. It also proposes phasing in wine licenses for grocers over a period of several years to allow liquor stores time to adjust. The deadline for ballot measures for the November election was at the end of August, so they missed that, obviously.
However, liquor stores are still gathering signatures in hopes of getting the measure on the ballot for a future election in case SQ 792 doesn't pass, or if it doesn't stand up to the almost inevitable legal challenge they plan to file after the election. If one of those things happens, and they get enough signatures, we would most likely see SQ 791 on the ballot in 2018, when a ballot measure on medical marijuana will also likely be put to a vote. The deadline for the liquor store owners to collect signatures for SQ 791 is Oct. 31.
Q: Did I dream Torchy's Tacos was coming to Edmond?
A: Torchy's Tacos is coming to Edmond's overhauled Bryant Square development. Torchy's plans to open multiple locations in the Oklahoma City market, so stay tuned.
Q: Do you know what they are planning on putting in where the old S&B Burger was on Main Street in Norman?
A: I have heard of no firm plans for this space, which burned down last year. S&B took it over when it was Coach's Restaurant, but now I think S&B is not really in expansion mode anymore. The space was originally Denco's Cafe, a legendary Norman diner with horrifying sounding hangover-curing dishes, including something called Denco's Darlin'. From what I've heard, it was something like goulash with fried eggs on top, as well as whatever was in the bottom of Denco's grease trap. I hope someone does something with this great location on Norman's Main Street.