Decatur could OK Sunday morning alcohol sales

Aug 5, 2019

DECATUR, Ala. (AP) — Officials in an Alabama city are talking about easing restrictions on Sunday morning sales of alcoholic beverages.

A proposed ordinance changing the time alcohol sales can resume on Sunday from noon to 10 a.m. was set for a first reading at Monday's City Council meeting.

The Decatur Daily reports that the proposal applies to both sales for on-premises consumption and off-premises consumption, such as package stores and grocery stores. If approved, the new law could benefit local restaurants and sports bars.

It has drawn criticism from at least one local religious leader.

Carrying alcohol outside in Decatur's Arts and Entertainment District would still be prohibited until noon on Sundays under the proposal.

Decatur's Planning Commission recommended the change in October.

City Attorney Herman Marks said the Planning Commission wanted Decatur to have the same options as other cities in the state under a new state law that allows wet cities and counties to allow or expand Sunday sales through an ordinance or resolution.

Tyler Jones, owner of Whisk'D Cafe, said he realizes most people are in church on Sunday morning but there are some who want a mimosa or a bloody Mary for brunch. He said some are even willing to drive to Huntsville to get their brunch and drink.

"We've been asked over and over again for the drinks and, if people tell me they want something, I'm going to give it to them," Jones said.

Whisk'D is a breakfast restaurant that's open Sundays from 7 a.m. until 1 p.m., so the current ordinance allows him just one hour to serve alcoholic drinks, Jones said.

Decatur Church of Christ evangelist Alan Watkins said he opposes Sunday morning alcohol sales and other relaxations of alcohol laws but, he said, "It's difficult to legislate morality." He said money is a powerful force behind recent changes to the city's alcohol ordinances.