Jul 5, 2017 - Food and Drink

Boozy Sunday brunch faces one final political hurdle

cw mimosa draught

Yes, you heard it correctly: Gov. Roy Cooper signed the “brunch bill” into law last week.

That’s the one that allows restaurants to serve alcohol at 10 a.m. on Sunday mornings, instead of noon (as our state’s wacky blue laws had mandated previously).

But there’s a reason why Charlotte didn’t launch morning brunch specials over the holiday weekend: The Charlotte City Council still has to pass an ordinance allowing it.

Heist brunch, via Facebook

Huh? Why?

Because the law as passed doesn’t make Sunday morning booze sale legal across the board. It only allows cities and counties to decide for themselves whether they want to play along.

Will Charlotte allow it?

Almost certainly. Both Mayor Jennifer Roberts and City Councilman Kenny Smith (a Republican running to be the next mayor) have publicly shown their support for the brunch bill.

Roberts tweeted that she supports #brunchfreedom.

Smith said he’s asked the city manager and attorney to draft an ordinance as soon as possible and hopes they can have it in place before the PGA Championship in early August.

What could go wrong?

The only potential problem I can see is it this gets caught up in criticism of City Council priorities. This is a big part of what happened with the MLS soccer stadium deal. Critics could question why the council has time for boozy brunch and hasn’t made significant progress on affordable housing or other pressing needs.

This is different from the soccer deal, though, because it doesn’t involve millions on public money.

I don’t see this being a problem.


Will I be able to buy beer before 1 p.m. Panthers games this fall?

Yep. The law does not distinguish between restaurants and stores (an earlier version did, but it got changed).

Anything else boozy and fun?

Sure. The law permits distilleries from giving out free tastings at malls, festivals and special events, provided they have the proper permit.

Craft distilleries will also be able to sell five bottles per year on-site, instead of just one.


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