Metro Council approves early Sunday alcohol sales for Lou. restaurants


by Chelsea Rabideau

Posted on April 25, 2013 at 12:17 PM

Updated Thursday, Apr 25 at 11:47 PM

LOUISVILLE, Ky. – It’s official, the Louisville Metro Council voted to expand Sunday alcohol sales. This means restaurants will soon be able to sell alcoholic drinks starting at 10 a.m. For restaurant owners, it’s a victory, but not everyone is saying “cheers.”

The council spent very little time talking about the proposed change. Only a couple council members, including Barbara Shanklin, spoke out against it. In the end, it looks like restaurant owners will have something else to celebrate this Derby weekend.

It’s only three hours on Sunday mornings, but for Jefferson County restaurants, it represents a valuable untapped opportunity to boost business.

“Most of our clientele are from out of town and they’re not used to a silly law like this,” Anderson Grissom, manager of Dish on Market, said.

For years, restaurants and bars have been banned from selling alcohol until 1 p.m. on Sunday.

“That was a big issue last year, and in previous years,” Grissom explained, “People expecting to have a drink on Sunday morning after they’ve had a great weekend in town and to be able to turn them down is a sad thing.”

Spurred by local restaurant owners, the issue landed in front of the Louisville Metro Council at their weekly meeting Thursday night. Some residents showed up to voice their opposition.

One man asked, “Is the Metro Council more concerned about the revenue of these 300 restaurants than the welfare of the whole community?”

Those concerns were echoed by councilwoman Attica Scott, worrying the change will feed an already existing problem.

“In 2012,” she stated at the meeting, “They made 542 alcohol and DUI arrests in the second division, which is quite a bit of southwest Louisville and west Louisville, and that’s an issue and a concern for me.”

The council approved the change by a vote of 16-7. It will go into effect as soon as Mayor Greg Fischer signs off. He told WHAS11’s Chelsea Rabideau via twitter that he will sign as soon as council sends him the bill. So, Sunday brunchers can drink up on Derby weekend.

Also, part of the bill was a change to the public notification process for businesses applying for or changing their liquor licenses. They’ll now have to put a yellow notice on their property alerting the surrounding community to the application or change.