Prohibition May Finally End in One Connecticut Town
Sleepy Bridgewater will put it to a vote on Tuesday
By Neal Colgrass, Newser Staff
Posted Feb 22, 2014 3:59 PM CST

(Newser) – Connecticut's last dry town is on the verge of a historic decision: whether to allow two local developers to open restaurants that serve alcohol, the AP reports. As it stands, the upscale bedroom community of Bridgewater is on the sleepy side, with 1,700 people, an average age above 50, and only a single school (which the state is threatening to shut down). So alcohol in restaurants "would tend to enliven the town," said First Selectman Curtis Read—as would the restaurants themselves, since Bridgewater doesn't currently have any, the Litchfield County Times reports. (It does have bars run by residents in their garages, but that's another story.)

For the repeal of Prohibition to pass—81 years after the 18th Amendment was cast aside—the developers need a simple majority in a vote on Tuesday. And they're saying a "no" vote would be a dealbreaker, because restaurants just can't survive without serving drinks: "Both restaurants are dependent upon being able to serve alcohol," said a developer's rep. "It’s not only on an economic level, but it’s about being competitive and creating an ambiance of what people expect to have in their dining experience." Two neat factoids: The vote would only be a "partial" repeal (for alcohol served in restaurants), and local resident Mia Farrow may be among the voters.

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Showing 3 of 14 comments
Feb 23, 2014 7:46 AM CST
I lived in a small "dry" Connecticut town years ago. Basically, it meant there were no commercial establishments selling liquor, but that didn't mean the residents were teetotalers. We just went to neighboring towns to buy booze for our homes, eat at restaurants or enjoy music at clubs. And, unfortunately, some went to bars and clubs and then had to drive some distances home, often intoxicated. We petitioned to put it to a vote and overwhelmingly ended our quaint prohibition, much to the disgust of some elderly church elders who had dominated our politics too long. An interesting thing happened after the vote to repeal. A couple of new businesses opened which revitalized our small commercial zone. People didn't have to drive far for entertainment or have a meal or drink. Most interestingly, drunk driving offenses decreased too, maybe because there was less driving?
Feb 22, 2014 7:15 PM CST
The town's oldest resident, Nucky Thompson, won't be pleased to hear this news.
Feb 22, 2014 6:42 PM CST
Well, don't pretend to be "shocked" when violent crimes increase, along with DUIs, fights, burglaries and drunk drivers murdering people.