City Council OKs 10 a.m. Alcohol Sales On Sundays - Brevard, NC


August 24, 2017

Brevard City Council unanimously voted Tuesday to allow for the sale of alcohol at 10 a.m. on Sundays instead of noon.

As previously reported, on June 30, Gov. Roy Cooper signed N.C. Senate Bill 155 into law, which allows bars and restaurants to serve alcohol at 10 a.m. on Sundays, leaving local governments with the option to approve the change.

Because the city council did not meet in July, Tuesday’s meeting, rescheduled from Monday because of the solar eclipse, the meeting was the first opportunity for the council to address the issue with a public hearing, said City Manager Jim Fatland.

During the public hearing, Kristen Gentry, youth and community outreach coordinator for the Transylvania County C.A.R.E. coalition, said research proves that any increase in the availability of alcohol impacts young people.

“As a grassroots organization comprised of law enforcement, health care professionals, youth, parents and the educational system, we are committed to a vision of a healthy and vibrant Transylvania County that’s free of underage drinking and substance abuse,” Gentry said. “So, we of the C.A.R.E. coalition just wanted to take a moment to encourage you and council members, citizens, local business, to join us in starting a conversation about how we can support a healthy Transylvania County for everyone, but especially for our youth.”

Trey Foster, general manager at Dugan’s Pub on North Broad Street, said he saw sales go up 35 percent the very day a similar bill passed when he was an executive chef in Florida, which, in turn, increased sales revenue by the same amount, he said.

“It also offered additional employment income,” Foster said. “And let’s face it, we are a tourist town. We’ve learned that over the recent days.”

Foster said Sunday brunch is an important part of tourists’ vacation plans, and it’s a disappointment to customers when Dugan’s Pub cannot serve them alcohol before noon.

“Currently, visitors of Brevard could opt to drive to Asheville for brunch since Asheville City Council there immediately took action and allowed for service earlier on Sundays,” Foster said. “So, we believe it would be an advantage to Brevard to keep our customers here.”

Ron Gurtler, the president of the Doogie Corporation, which owns the pub, said the extension of alcohol sales back two hours on Sunday is an issue of choice for the permitted restaurants and that the “logical opposition” to the bill is overindulgence.

“I’m very conscious of our responsibility at all times, and we are not going to take the expansion of service hours as an opportunity to overserve our guests,” Gurtler said, “and another concern is, of course, underage drinking.”

He said restaurants aren’t the problem with underage drinking because the pub IDs everyone, even “to the consternation of a lot of our customers.”

“In our opinion, the passing of this ordinance will be good for the reputation of Brevard as an enlightened and welcoming destination city for visitors,” Gurtler said.

Clark Lovelace, executive director of the Brevard/Transylvania County Chamber of Commerce, said business owners have approached the chamber about the issue and hoped the city council would approve the change.

“Most every community that surrounds us has passed this resolution,” Lovelace said. “So, I would simply just encourage council, with this and any decision that is business friendly, to strongly consider anything that can positively impact the community and reputation.”

The motion was made to approve the change by Councilman Charlie Landreth and was seconded by Councilman Mac Morrow.

More from the meeting will appear in Monday’s issue.


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