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SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 26, 2006
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EDITORIAL

Beer opponents obligated to patronize Chuck E. Cheese

Chuck E. Cheese was probably wise to drop its plan to sell beer at its new restaurant in Decatur's Colonial Mall.

It was a smart business move to avoid alienating many potential patrons. It was also a practical move for a company whose primary focus is providing entertainment for children.

We doubt there are many potential Chuck E. Cheese customers who would patronize the business based solely on the availability of alcohol. There are plenty of other establishments in Decatur where one can get a beer. And it is much more likely that beer sales, which account for about 2 percent of Chuck E. Cheese's sales, would alienate a much larger percentage of the business's target market.

Lendon Haggard, his wife Shellie and the young parents in their Sunday school class at Oak Grove First Congregational Methodist Church in Trinity are to be commended for expressing their concerns to the company and taking a rational approach in voicing their opinion. Too often, such campaigns turn into bitter shouting matches, with neither side willing to listen to the justifiable concerns of the other.

There is no question there is a place for alcohol sales in Decatur. And Chuck E. Cheese is obviously not the ideal destination for one whose primary focus for the evening is to tip a couple of glasses.

We hope the Haggards, their church family and others who opposed Chuck E. Cheese's beer plan regularly patronize the business, which was willing to sacrifice a portion of its profits in order to please them.

If they don't, and the business fails for lack of a customer base, they will have done a disservice to Chuck E. Cheese, the people it employs, and the residents of the region.

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