SHREVEPORT, La. (KTAL/KMSS) – A Shreveport business owner is looking to rezone an area in the Lakeside neighborhood to add a liquor store, claiming the neighborhood needs it.
Kevin Belcher has owned and operated Honey’s Neighborhood Market and the laundromat next door in the building Milam Street and Arkansas Avenue since March. Right now the building is zoned as a neighborhood commercial district but he is requesting it be changed to general commercial zoning, which would allow for the sale of hard liquor.
“80% of my customers walk and they’re saying they want the liquor so that they can come here and get it instead of walkway off to go get it,” Belcher said, adding that it will increase also the value of his business.
Some in the neighborhood say they support the change.
“I mean grocery, liquor, they can take care of their children as well as themselves,” Keisha Kellum said. “It’s a good idea on the account of by the space and where we are and a lot of people don’t have transportation to get anywhere else.”
Wilbert Brown has been coming to same location for the past 10 years and says it is the family-oriented vibe he gets from the place that keeps him coming back.
“I think it’s a good thing for the whole community because it just helps out and it brings back to the black-owned,” Brown said.
However, not everyone wants to see a liquor store in the area.
“In the environment, I am thinking about children and it wouldn’t be a good environment for children to be around liquor with everything going on,” Frank Payton Jr said.
But Belcher doesn’t see it that way.
“Crime is still here and I don’t have liquor. We can’t stop crime. My liquor is not going to improve nor hurt the crime,” Belcher said.
The MPC postponed the request on August 28. The Shreveport City Council also postponed the request during their regular legislative meeting on September 14. It is expected to be brought back up at the next meeting on September 28.