ATLANTIC BEACH, N.C. (WNCT) – Two towns in eastern North Carolina have given the green light to earlier Sunday morning alcohol sales.
Atlantic Beach and Surf City both approved the decision on Thursday.
The “Brunch Bill” allows restaurants to serve alcohol starting at 10 a.m. on Sundays, instead of noon.
After making its way through the General Assembly, the bill was left up to individual cities to decide ordinances.
“A lot of our visitors are from out of state and the blue laws that North Carolina has in effect seem a little arcane to people and they may not know about them,” Mayor Trace Cooper, Atlantic Beach, said. “If someone is visiting from out of state and planning to go to the beach on a Sunday morning, they may be surprised they weren’t allowed to buy cold beers.”
The ordinance includes malt beverages, wine and mixed drinks. The changes will start this weekend and restaurants say they’re already preparing for larger than usual crowds.
“Especially on Sundays, everyone wants to come in for Sunday Funday and have a drink and start off and get something to eat,” Andrew Smith, bartender for The Crab’s Claw, said. “It’s a great way to start the day to be able to have that drink a little earlier now.”
“It’s good for the pockets and if the people are already here and willing to spend the money then why not?” David Ibrahim, owner of 4 Corners Diner, asked. “Let’s just give it to them.”
A big opponent of the Brunch Bill, the Christian Action League, argues it would take away from Sunday church service.
Other coastal towns like Emerald Isle and Morehead City will decide whether to pass similar ordinances at their council meetings next week.