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LINCOLNTON, NC-The city’s Business and Community Development Office has launched a restaurant recruitment campaign that targets franchises and independent restaurateurs.

This town of 10,500 already has 46 restaurants, but so far only one has added alcohol to the menu. The Sagebrush Steakhouse added alcohol sales after the referendum passed recently permitting the sale of mixed drinks. Customers who formerly drove to Charlotte, Hickory or Gastonia for a drink with or before a meal, now drive to the Sagebrush.

Unlike Lincolnton, when mixed-drink sales were approved in Charlotte in the late 1970s, restaurants quickly adopted the new liquor law.

According to T. Jerry Williams, president of the North Carolina Restaurant Association, new restaurants must find the right site on which to build, or the right property to lease, and new employees must be trained.

Situated northwest of Charlotte and midway between Gastonia and Hickory, Lincolnton is easily accessible from Interstate 85 and I-40 via the four-lane US. 321.

City officials believe Lincolnton is also ideally suited to develop as a commercial retail center. Sixty percent of all retail sales in the county take place in Lincolnton.

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