Georgia Brunch Bill up for Vote this Friday

If you’ve ever gone out for a Sunday Brunch craving a Bloody Mary — especially at restaurants with those amazing Bloody Mary bars, like Freight Kitchen & Tap and Elevation Chophouse — the “wait til 12:30” deal may be over!

Georgia Restaurant AssociationThe Georgia Restaurant Association is courting support for HB 535, the Georgia Brunch Bill, which would give municipalities the option of permitting restaurants to serve alcohol as early as 10:30 a.m. on Sundays. According to the GRA website:

Each restaurant that can sell alcoholic beverages in Georgia will generate an average of $480.77, or $25,000 per year. There are roughly 4,000 restaurants in Georgia that could benefit from this bill, which would mean a total of $100 million in additional revenue. These changes will help drive jobs, tourism and economic growth in our state.

Why 10:30 and not 8:30? According to Atlanta Magazine, state-owned facilities such as the Georgia World Congress Center, Georgia Dome, Phillips Arena, and Lake Lanier Islands are already approved for sales at 10:30. Georgia is historically slow to move on laws pertaining to alcohol, which should come as no surprise since we were the last state to repeal Prohibition in 1937.

(When we first moved to Georgia, no one could even buy liquor in the grocery stores on Sunday! My Florida family still teases me over that law…)

Neel Sengupta, owner of Freight Kitchen & Tap in Downtown Woodstock stated:

We whole heartedly support HB535. The impact on local brunch business makes many of our businesses more desirable and competitive during the entirety of Sunday rather than only after 12;30. To think that we pay for a separate Sunday serving license that currently is only usable for part of the day doesn’t make great business sense. More work at the legislature needs to be done on these issues.

Freight Bloody Mary Scoop OTPThe Georgia Brunch Bill goes to the House Friday. If approved it will move to the Senate, and then if passed, we could be sipping cocktails on Sunday mornings in July — now that’s the kind of independence I like to celebrate!

If a Bloody Mary on Sunday morning helps create jobs — go for it! After all, sometimes it’s the perfect pair to pancakes or an omelet.

Related note: If this bill interests you, then you may also want to follow the Georgia Brewers Craft Guild who is also working to get some updated regulation for their industry with the Beer Jobs Bill SB63. According to Georgia Craft Brewers Website:

The Beer Jobs Bill will allow consumers to purchase a pint at a brewery and take beer home from breweries and brewpubs – these changes will help drive jobs, tourism, and economic growth that will allow our state to be more competitive in the national craft beer marketplace. And it will do this in a way that allows our breweries, distributors, and retailers to all benefit from the economic growth it will unleash.

Stay tuned for more Dirt on laws that effect our local restaurants.