By WILLARD KILLOUGH III
CAROLINA BEACH - Governor Roy Cooper signed a bill June 30th, popularly known as the "Brunch Bill" that gives county and municipal governing boards the option to adopt an ordinance permitting the sale of alcohol on Sunday's at 10am rather than beginning at 12 noon.
The Carolina Beach Town Council adopted an ordinance amendment during their Tuesday July 11th, meeting permitting the sale of alcohol at 10am.
Town attorney Noel Fox explained, "Mayor and Council, for your consideration is a resolution tonight consistent with a newly adopt law which is Senate Bill 155 which became effective June 30th... which allows local municipalities and counties to consider adopting an ordinance that allows for the sale of alcoholic beverages prior to noon. I've drafted a resolution for your consideration and it would become effective immediately."
Mayor Dan Wilcox said, "I know you had this scheduled for the workshop on the 25th, and I think we were all thinking well we are doing that because it had to be advertised like a code change and then when we realized today that it didn't have to be, it didn't make any sense to prevent businesses from taking advantage of this during their season."
Councilman Gary Doetsch asked if the new law included the sale of alcohol at grocery stores or just at restaurants that have a license to serve alcohol.
Fox explained, "The bill has multiple changes but what we are adopting is for brunch."
Wilcox said the legislation signed by the governor on June 30th, originally included language that would have permitted the sale of alcohol on Sundays two hours earlier at grocery stores and other retail establishments, but then it was ultimately removed before the final version was approved by the legislature.
Town Manager Michael Cramer said, "The final bill relates to places where you can also get food."
Councilman Tom Bridges said, "My only point I want to make is, personally I don't think that adding more time to sell alcohol on Sundays, especially before church lets out, is a good idea but I also know it will be a help to our businesses and I support businesses. Personally I'm not in favor of it."
Wilcox said, "Personally the blue law for me has always been ridiculous. If an adult wants to go into a restaurant for brunch or lunch and have a bloody mary or a beer or glass of wine, I just don't get why that wouldn't be possible. I'm glad there is some ground being made here."
The Council voted unanimously to adopt the resolution.
The Town of Wrightsville Beach was the first municipality in New Hanover County to adopt a resolution permitting alcohol sales at 10am at restaurants on Sundays.
Surf City and Raleigh also adopted resolutions. The City of Wilmington and the Town of Kure Beach will consider similar resolutions at their meetings on July 18th.
The Carolina Beach resolution states:
WHEREAS, under previous North Carolina law, alcohol sales were prohibited before noon on Sundays. Governor Cooper signed Senate Bill 155, commonly called the “Brunch Bill,” into law on June 30th, 2017 authorizing cities and counties to allow alcohol sales at restaurants and stores beginning at 10:00 a.m. on Sundays.
NOW BE IT ORDAINED, the Town of Carolina Beach Town Council, pursuant to NCGS 160A-205.3, a new Section in Article 8 of NCGS Chapter 160A created by passage of Session Law 2017-7, hereby adopts this Ordinance authorizing the sale of malt beverages, unfortified wine, fortified wine, and mixed beverages beginning at 10:00 a.m. Sundays in and on such premises that have a valid and current premises’ permit issued under G.S. 18B-1001.
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT FURTHER ORDAINED by the Town Council of the Town Carolina Beach the Code of Ordinances is hereby amended to include the following:
Chapter 18, Article VI: Regulating Hours of Certain Alcohol Sales within the Town Limits a) The sale of malt beverages, unfortified wine, fortified wine and mixed beverages shall be allowed within the Town limits at any premises having a valid and current premises’ permit issued under NCGS 18B-1001 on Sundays beginning at 10:00 a.m.