Angelina County has only been wet for three weeks, but a handful of retailers have already applied for beer and wine permits. Rainbow Beer and Wine will be among the first stores in Lufkin to sell alcoholic beverages. Their permit hasn't even been approved yet, but they are getting ready for the grand opening.
Manager Craig Conner said, "We've had this building for a while and we can't really find nobody dependable enough to pay the lease. We own the property and the building so we just decided to try [beer and wine sales] for a while."
A permit is also pending for The Tobacco Shop near Pollok and some of the store's customers are not happy about it, but business is not expected to suffer.
Co-owner Bill Klaes said, "Maybe they don't smoke cigarettes, maybe they smoke cigars and when they would go up to Nacogdoches, they'd come back down here and they already have what they needed so they wouldn't stop in here and buy, not just the alcohol, but they didn't buy the cigars, cigarettes or whatever. So we'll probably gain customers in the long run."
So far, five businesses in Lufkin have applied for a license to sell beer and wine. All three Brookshire Brothers locations, Rainbow Beer and Wine, and the Tobacco Barn on Frank Street are on the list.
Three Angelina County businesses have also applied for permits. They include the Rusty Rooster in Diboll, Brooks Grocery, and the Tobacco Barn on Highway 69.