Alcohol law changes worry restaurateurs, golf courses 

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OKLAHOMA CITY-  Some restaurateurs and OKC golf course officials are worried about how Oklahoma alcohol law changes will affect their businesses.

"Well, it affects us drastically because right now we sell our beer at a certain price," Juan Garcia said.

Starting October 1, places like Chelino's Mexican restaurant, that sell low-point beer, will be able to sell high-point beer, but it will be taxed like liquor.

Before, with low-point, the consumer just paid the sales tax, now they will pay the sales and the 13% liquor tax.

"Everyone is on a budget, everyone is looking out for those nickels and dimes. The consumers will be the one hurting the most. They are going to have to pay that extra tax," said Garcia.

Garcia is also worried his Chelino's location on South Robinson might not be able to sell beer at all. He says they make close to $600 a day from low-point beer.

Garcia says they have applied a number of times for a liquor license and been denied. He says his facility doesn't meet code for parking and bar set up.

He is worried now that they have to apply for a liquor-type license just to sell beer.

They might be prevented from selling alcohol all together.

"People love our beers and for us not to be able to sell it, it's going to hurt our business drastically," he said.

Restaurateurs are not the only ones worried about the law changes.

Douglas Kupper works for OKC Parks and Recreation Department.

He is working with the Oklahoma City golf courses to make sure they can continue to serve beer on the course.

With high-point beer treated more like liquor, Kupper is worried that serving single beers in the clubhouse or letting players buy a six pack to take with them on the course won't work. It hasn't before with liquor at bars and restaurants.

You can't necessarily have a serving license and a take-out license on the same piece of real estate.

OKC courses are also thinking about expanding their drink menus.

"The real question is whether we want to go beyond just the new high-point beers and the low-percentage wines and get into the bourbon and the vodkas and the scotches and the gins," said Kupper.

Kupper says he is confident beer will be served at OKC courses on October 1.

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