'Brunch bill' would let restaurants serve alcohol on Sunday mornings

Posted March 1
Updated June 28

Bloody Marys come topped with curry shrimp at disco brunch at The Durham.

— Restaurants could ask their local governments for the right to serve alcohol on Sunday mornings starting at 10 a.m. under a bill filed Wednesday in the state Senate.

Currently, neither grocery stores, restaurants nor bars can serve alcohol before noon on Sundays. Dubbed the "brunch bill," Senate Bill 155, as filed by Sen. Rick Gunn, R-Alamance, would give city and county governments the option of allowing restaurants to begin selling alcoholic beverages two hours earlier on Sundays.

"If they feel like this would be good for their local economy, they can do it," Gunn said.

He has filed other measures to loosen restrictions on alcohol sales. Those measures are generally opposed by social conservatives who oppose broadening the availability of alcohol.

North Carolina's Sunday sales restrictions amount to blue laws that nod to historical religious practice and values. While such limits are in keeping with North Carolina's Baptist history, they clash with modern sensibilities, especially in beach and mountain communities that rely on tourist dollars to drive their economies.

"This 'brunch bill' will allow our North Carolina restaurants and hotels to meet their guests' needs," said Lynn Minges, chief executive of the North Carolina Restaurant & Lodging Association. "With 55 million visitors to our state every year, this bill will be good for tourism and hospitality. The local 'opt in' provision is a new approach. We believe a number of counties will want this new option for their citizens and guests."

The measure would also allow distilleries to sell five bottles of alcohol directly to each individual who takes a tour every year, rather than going through an ABC store. Currently, that limit is one.


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  • Judy Loftin Mar 2, 2017
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    Glad I didn't vote for him, he is a democrat in disguise.

  • John Townsend Mar 2, 2017
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    View quoted thread

    Charlotte tried to force bathroom policy on private business. Had they only changed rules for city owed facilities, HB2 never would have happened.

  • Catherine Edwards Mar 2, 2017
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    Actually it was Charlotte that got the alcohol sales to start at 12 noon. It was in the name of football that got it changed it used to be 2 PM. I personally think it should be the same as any other day of the week.

  • Clarence Drumgoole Mar 2, 2017
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    I guess some my need a drink on Sunday morning to tolerate what they about to hear. :)

  • Eric Rothman Mar 2, 2017
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    I have probably had 5 beers in one year, so I am not a big drinker. But I have always thought this Sunday alcohol thing is the stupidest thing ever!

  • Reggie Berryman Mar 2, 2017
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    What about the Seventh-day Adventist, they don't count! You can't have a law based on one religion and ignore the others...Time to scrap the law!

  • Chad Seymour Mar 2, 2017
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    Charlotte made a reasonable decision that affected very few people and just made their life equal. McCrory made the decision a national joke which has hurt thousands upon thousands of small business owners who are continuing to lose money and the few people that the City of Charlotte was trying to protect. What our state government did with HB2 hurt the whole state. Hurts every day.

  • Chad Seymour Mar 1, 2017
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    View quoted thread

  • William Price Mar 1, 2017
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    yep exactly what we need more drunks..... promoting alcohol consumption at the same time the white house wants to crack down on states having legal marijuana laws..... id much more rather be around someone that just wants to laugh and eat than someone who wants to argue and fight..... but hey thats todays america thanks to all the sheep

  • Paul Edwards Mar 1, 2017
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    I think if you wanted to buy an alcoholic drink Sunday morning you should be able to have one. Even before church.