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Restaurants may serve cocktails with Sunday morning brunch if new bill passes

A bill proposed Thursday in the Georgia senate would allow restaurants like The Rookery in downtown Macon to start serving alcohol on Sundays at 10:30 a.m.
A bill proposed Thursday in the Georgia senate would allow restaurants like The Rookery in downtown Macon to start serving alcohol on Sundays at 10:30 a.m. wmarshall@macon.com

A Georgia bill introduced this week proposes allowing some businesses to serve alcohol on Sunday mornings.

The bill’s sponsor state Sen. Renee Unterman says the measure would allow private establishments to have the same rules as government-owned buildings where alcohol can be sold prior to 12:30 p.m. on Sundays, according ajc.com. The Republican from Buford introduced the bill Thursday to let restaurants and some other businesses start serving liquor at 10:30 a.m. on Sunday.

The bill would restrict the earlier hours to places that have on-site consumption. That would mean convenience and grocery stores keep their normal Sunday hours of 12:30 p.m. to midnight. Even if the bill passes it would still be up to local governments to decide whether to approve the new hours in their jurisdiction.

Unterman has coined the bill the “mimosa mandate” after the popular brunch drink made of champagne and citrus juice.

The earlier time is enticing to a manager of downtown Macon restaurant The Rookery where Sunday morning brunches are a popular attraction. A change in the law could mean more business for restaurants, manager Mark Manning said

“I definitely think it would help us,” he said. “We do have some customers that don’t come out (Sundays) until we serve alcohol. They want something like a mimosa, something light to begin their day with.”

Georgia has relaxed its Sunday alcohol sales restrictions in recent years, although similar versions of Unterman’s bill have failed to make it through the legislature in recent sessions, ajc.com reported.

Stanley Dunlap: 478-744-4623, @stan_telegraph

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