After some encouraging words from a local real estate broker, the Jacksonville City Council voted unanimously Tuesday night to approve a zoning change that will allow the Applebee's on 1702 South Jackson to serve alcohol.
City Manager Mo Raissi said restaurant officials must now apply for their alcohol license with the Texas Alcohol and Beverage Commission.
Applebee's officials haven't yet indicated to the city when they wish to open, he said.
During his public hearing comments, Michael W. McEwen, Owner/Broker of Cherokee Real Estate Company, Inc. told council members that a restaurant like Applebee's should be good for the local economy because it has between 70 to 75 people on payroll.
Additionally, it will add to the city's grown arsenal of restaurants, McEwen said.
"This should keep more people in town," he said.
McEwen was the only person to speak on the matter at Tuesday evening's public hearing.
The council, led by District 4 Jacksonville Councilwoman Ann Chandler, then voted on the matter, which changing the zoning on the restaurant from commercial to special use, allowing the restaurant to serve alcohol and to stay open until 2 a.m.
When accessing the Applebee's website, the nearest restaurant is listed as being in Tyler.
It lists a total of nearly 2,000 current locations.
Applebee's is promoted in its literature as "the favorite neighborhood restaurant where you can come as you are to connect with those important in your life, over food and beverage you love every day."