Drunken Middle Aged Wanna Be Artists Terrorizing Sam’s Club Shopping Plaza!

So this new business wants to open in one of the shopping centers at Youree and 70th:

Looking for a fun evening out while creating your own masterpiece?

We have the answer! Come alone or grab a friend or two, your favorite bottle of wine or beverage, and paint a picture along with a local artist.

Join us for an evening of creativity and camaraderie. We’ll provide your paint, canvas and brushes and you’ll have a fun evening with friends. Plus, at the end of the evening, you’ ll have a one-of-a-kind creation and, hopefully, a newfound talent you’ll want to explore!

Think it’s beyond you? Our instructor will guide you through each step of recreating the featured picture, and you’ll have painlessly created a piece of art before you know it.

Would I patronize this business even at the  barrel of a gun? No. Is it an innocuous attempt to make a little money by providing a new type of service to the consumers in the city? Sure.

Yet even though this business could not possibly bother anyone, the busybody teetotalers came out in force to oppose the required zoning change for the store.

City Council on Tuesday approved a zoning board decision — amid protests from a nearby residential neighborhood — to let the local Painting with a Twist franchise serve beer and wine while patrons get creative. The business should open in February in University Place Shopping Center at Youree Drive at East 70th Street, owner Jean Beauclair said.

Alcohol was the main issue for most opponents, residents of nearby University Terrace. The next step for challengers would be a lawsuit. . . .

“I’m concerned mainly about safety,” said Caddo Commissioner Mike Thibodeaux, who lives in University Terrace and represents the area, which already has a lot of foot and vehicle traffic.

“You’re putting yourself at risk by allowing an additional factor for someone that may be coming out. Especially if there’s nothing to eat there.”

Good lord. Look, let’s be clear: The only thing anyone who opposes this is concerned about is alcohol. They’re teetotalers who can’t stand or imagine the thought of anyone, anywhere enjoying a drink.

As far as traffic goes, there is no way one store is going to increase traffic through that neighborhood. For one, already on that same corner are big boxes like Target, Circuit City, Sam’s Club, Lowes, Dick’s, Barnes & Noble, Old Navy and all the other symbiotic stores usually found in those habitats. This is shopping central in Shreveport. The new patrons will not be noticeable. Besides, this business just replaces another, so the none of traffic will be new.

The foot traffic thing is ridiculous. You can’t walk from one store to another over there, never mind into the neighborhood behind the center. No roads connect the two. You’d either have to hop a fence, cross a bayou and hop another fence or risk your life by walking on 70th street west for a bit until you reach the neighborhood entrance. Can you see some forty five year old upper middle class woman carrying an oil painting while tromping down 70th in high heals? Me either.

And as for not wanting alcohol being an “additional factor,” within this same shopping district are at least five restaurants that have real bars in them. Again, a few old women having a few glasses of wine is not going to materially contribute the “risk” created by places like Buffalo Wild Wings or TGI Fridays.

In short, there’s no legitimate reason to oppose this business. Those who do oppose it have too much time on their hands and too high an opinion of themselves.

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