Pearland parents protest Chuck E. Cheese's liquor license application

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by Gabe Gutierrez / KHOU 11 News

khou.com

Posted on June 2, 2011 at 10:35 AM

Updated Thursday, Jun 2 at 10:36 AM

BRAZORIA COUNTY, Texas – A family restaurant near Pearland is applying for a liquor license and several parents aren’t happy.

Wendy Heath is formally challenging the permit that Chuck E. Cheese’s Pizza, in the 3100 block of Silverlake Village Drive, recently applied for.

"It's just not right," she said. “I'm sure as parents we can survive two to three hours without a drink. It's not necessary."

Heath is concerned with parents potentially drinking and driving as well as increased rowdiness within the popular family restaurant. Videos on YouTube.com show fights captured on cell phones at Chuck E. Cheese’s across the country. In 2008, a Michigan location temporarily stopped alcohol sales after a public outcry following several fights.

“I believe that there's a time and a place for alcohol consumption,” said Jamie Newman, another mother who regularly visits the restaurant with her kids. “And an establishment that markets itself (with the slogan) 'Where a Kid Can Be a Kid' is not the place."

But the chain said those fights weren’t tied to alcohol.

"A lot of parents appreciate the opportunity to have an adult beverage, so we just like to give them that choice," said Brenda Holloway, a Chuck E. Cheese’s spokesperson.

Holloway added that 70 percent of the restaurant’s locations offer beer or wine.

Some customers argue it’s a way to enjoy themselves while their kids have fun.

"Most pizza places have beer and wine,” said Janice Smelley. “Adults need a beverage too."

Lt. Mark Menn, with the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission, said the county judge will now decide whether to grant the permit. No date has been set for the hearing.

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