Make your reservations now—the brunch bill is in effect in Durham.
Durham City Council on Monday added an amendment to the city code, allowing alcohol sales in restaurants to start at ten a.m. on Sundays, instead of noon.
The new section follows Governor Roy Cooper's June 30 sign-off on Senate Bill 155, better known as the brunch bill, into law on June 30. The law lets local governments amend their ordinances to permit earlier alcohol sales on Sunday mornings.
Within a week after the bill was signed, Carrboro and Raleigh passed new regulations allowing alcohol sales at ten a.m. Durham hadn’t gotten around to it until tonight because this was the first session since recess July 27.
The vote on the amendment, which Mayor Bill Bell pulled from meeting's consent agenda, was met a fiery condemnation Minister Rafiq Zaidi of the Nation of Islam.
“Alcohol in the community on Sunday morning. There’s no Sunday School. Have we given up on a religious holiday, on a religious day, Sunday morning?" he asked during the public comment period. “I’ve come to bring you the handwriting on the wall. Because some money, tax money, we give away our religion. … The blood will be on the streets.”
The amendment passed unanimously. Mayor Pro Tempore Cora M. Cole-McFadden said a minister she spoke to advised her to vote in favor of it. The decision followed advice from city planning staff, who said that that Sunday morning alcohol sales would benefit small businesses and the local hospitality industry.
Wake County officials also ruled today in favor of allowing sales as early as ten a.m. in unincorporated areas of the county.