Restaurants and gas stations can request applications starting on Wednesday, but ABC director Michael Langley says it will likely be January before any permits are issued. Langley says the public must be notified of the request, and agents need time to investigate.
The ABC will start accepting liquor store applications on December 1, and Langley says it will probably be June or July before those stores start showing up.
Tom Ginn of the Bentonville Bella Vista Chamber of Commerce says Benton County's dry status scared off more than one business.
"Once we explained them the situation it really, they got a really puzzled look on their face," he says. "It really became a hurdle. Some of those chose to look elsewhere or reformulate their business plan, and that's a big deal when you have a business that decides to go elsewhere because of such a thing."
Ginn believes going wet will help the area establish itself, once the city decides where alcohol retailers can set up shop.
"it's a very good positive for Benton County, it's probably long overdue," he says. "The city, and the council and the Mayor will have some decisions to make on how we want to zone or rezone in what areas we want to develop that."
Rob Nelson, the chef and owner of Tusk and Trotter in downtown Bentonville says the wet status evens the playing field, and will help the area compete with other entertainment districts in Northwest Arkansas.
"With all the action that's going on downtown on the wake of 21c opening up, this is going to be a focal point and it's going to be a you know a destination area," he says. "I think it's going to drive a little friendly competition between us and the rest of the restaurants and pubs."
The county's restaurants still have another hurdle to clear. Tuesday's vote allows permit holders to advertise beer and wine and have it delivered, but a second vote is required before businesses can sell liquor by the drink.
The businesses also still have to pick up liquor from stores. Langley says the private clubs will be around for at least six more months, until voters weigh in on restaurant mixed drink permits.