NC bill would allow alcohol sales before noon on Sundays

RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – Mimosas before noon on Sunday? In North Carolina?

UPDATE: ‘Brunch bill’ passes NC Senate, moves to the House

It could become a reality in the state if lawmakers sign off on what’s being called the “brunch bill.”

Senate Bill 155 would allow restaurants to start serving alcohol at 10 a.m. on Sundays – two hours earlier than currently allowed.

Supporters are lobbying state lawmakers throughout Wednesday and into Wednesday night trying to get the bill passed.

At Driftwood Southern Kitchen in Raleigh, Sunday brunch is one of the restaurant’s most popular times.

“People love brunch. We do a brunch buffet. We do breakfast stuff and lunch stuff,” said Driftwood manager Justin Bee.

Bee said there are often people, especially from out of town, who try to order mimosas and other alcohol before noon.

“They’re like, ‘oh wow, that’s really different.’ They’re kind of taken aback from it because that’s not what they’re used to,” Bee said.

Bee supports the pending legislation.

The North Carolina Restaurant and Lodging Association is meeting with supporters and state lawmakers throughout the day as the bill remains in committee.

“More and more, we’re seeing consumer demand, customers who come into businesses asking for alcohol, and we want to provide that much needed service to them,” said Lynn Minges with the North Carolina Restaurant and Lodging Association.

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Others, like Rev. Mark Creech, say the bill is not right for North Carolina.

Creech with the Christian Action League said the bill “troubles” him.

“It’s certainly indicative of the times,” he said.

Creech said the reason the current law won’t allow for alcohol sales until noon is out of respect to churches.

“That doesn’t seem to matter anymore. That doesn’t seem to be important. What seems to be most important is making a dollar,” Creech said.

Bee hopes the bill is passed.

“We might get some earlier reservations than normal,” Bee said.

He said it definitely would have a positive impact on Sunday sales.

Supporters are using the hashtag #freethemimosa for the bill.

Creech is also concerned about other parts of the bill – including allowing free liquor tastings at ABC stores.

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