If a bipartisan group of North Carolina senators have their way, you could soon enjoy an actual Sunday morning brunch, bloody Mary and everything.
Senators Rick Gunn, Dan Blue, and Kathy Harrington—Blue is a Raleigh Democrat, Gunn and Harrington are Republicans—are the primary sponsors of Senate Bill 155, Economic & Job Growth for NC Distilleries
, which was filed today.
Under current state law, restaurants cannot sell alcohol before noon on Sundays, because your ass should be in church and not chasing the hair of the dog. This bill would change that, allowing counties and cities to pass ordinances allowing licensed restaurants to start selling alcohol for on-premise consumption at ten a.m. on Sundays. (You still won’t be able to get beer and wine at the store before noon, however, and ABC stores will remain closed on the Lord’s Day.)
SB 155 would also allow distilleries obtain a special-event permit to give free liquor tastings at all the places you wish you could imbibe: “ABC stores, trade shows, conventions, shopping malls, street festivals, holiday festivals, agricultural festivals, balloon races, local fundraisers, and other similar events approved by the Commission." (Balloon races?
) Samples would be restricted to quarter-ounce pours and a total of 1.5 ounces per customer. The bill would also create a permit for auctioneers to be able to sell alcohol at auctions.
The N.C. Restaurant and Lodging Association has already thrown its support behind the "brunch bill."
"This 'brunch bill' will allow our North Carolina restaurants and hotels to meet their guest’s needs. 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," Lynn Minges, NCRLA President and CEO, said in a statement.
Currently, just one North Carolina county is considered "dry." (Solidarity with Graham County, y’all.)