We’re raising a glass to the possibility that restaurateurs in North Carolina may soon be able to serve alcohol to customers earlier than usual on Sundays.
Senate Bill 155, which the state Senate passed June 1, would allow restaurants to sell beer, wine and spirits to customers on Sundays before noon if they want to. However, those Sunday morning sales would not happen unless the local city council or county commission approves them first.
The legislation, also known as the Brunch Bill, will now head to the state’s House of Representatives for a vote. If it passes, the law would change the way the state serves alcohol.
What it means
Passage of the bill essentially would permit restaurants to serve alcohol on Sundays at 10 a.m., but it wouldn’t be mandatory. Cities and towns who don’t agree with the law don’t have to opt into it. They could continue to serve starting at noon.
However, Lynn Minges, president and CEO of the North Carolina Restaurant and Lodging Association, said allowing operators to serve alcohol earlier, particularly where tourism drives business and brunch is popular, would help them:
- Meet customer demand more efficiently
- Grow their businesses faster
- Create more jobs
- Increase tax revenue
- Bring customers into the business districts earlier in the day
Passage could also add at least $25,000 annually in taxable revenue to each restaurant’s bottom line, she added.
North Carolina isn’t the only state eyeing changes in the way its eating and drinking places sell alcoholic beverages. Late last month, Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey signed legislation allowing operators to start selling alcohol at 10 a.m. on Sundays provided those sales are already legal in the city or county where restaurant does business. Before the Governor signed the law, Sunday alcohol sales could not begin until 12 noon or later.
We’re asking operators in North Carolina to support passage of the brunch bill and sign our petition to #freethemimosa.
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