RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — Folks in Raleigh who enjoy Sunday brunch will now be able to drink an alcoholic beverage with their meal beginning at 10 a.m. after the Raleigh City Council approved a measure to allow the sales.
State legislators passed the so-called “Brunch Bill” last week and it was then signed into law by Gov. Roy Cooper on June 30.
While Cooper had already signed the state bill, the law only allowed local governments to set rules allowing alcohol sales as early as 10 a.m. Individual local governments must follow up with local laws for restaurants to actually sell alcohol before noon.
At Driftwood Southern Kitchen in North Raleigh, already talk is turning to this weekend and how customers can now order alcohol at different times.
“We had to plan our day to have brunch only after noon so now we can have a bit earlier brunch with family and friends,” said Ken Fritz, a customer.
The new hours for alcohol sales in Raleigh come after state lawmakers signed off on the “Brunch Bill,” clearing the way for local governments to allow alcohol sales starting at 10 Sunday morning. Previously, businesses had to wait until noon.
“I’m sure the first few Sundays are going to be people asking about it and wanting to do it just because it’s a novelty thing,” said Justin Bee, a manager at Driftwood.
Bee said time will tell the impact the extra hours will have on business. But he said people are aware that the change is on the horizon.
“I think the message is out there,” said Bee. “Last Sunday, it hadn’t been passed by the city but it was passed by the state and we already had people asking about it. It can only help. It definitely can’t be a bad thing.”
The Raleigh City Council voted 7-1 in favor of the new rules with Councilmember Dickie Thompson casting the lone vote in opposition.
Some, including the Christian Action League, have voiced concerns with the bill saying that it shows a lack of respect for the religious community.
Carrboro became the first town in the state to approve 10 a.m. Sunday alcohol sales when the Carrboro Board of Aldermen voted 4-0 on Monday to allow sales. The vote was held in the first six and a half minutes of the meeting.
And the new rule takes effect right away; Carrboro’s official Twitter account announced that mimosas and Bloody Marys can be served at the town’s eateries starting this Sunday at 10 a.m. The town included the hashtag #firstinbrunch with its tweet.
Governing boards of other localities have said they want time to look at the issue before issuing final rules.
Raleigh is at least the second municipality to allow 10 a.m. alcohol sales on Sunday. The law takes effect immediately and restaurants will be able to serve alcoholic beverages at 10 a.m. this Sunday. Other establishments, such as supermarkets, will also be allowed to sell alcohol beginning at 10 a.m. on Sundays.