• Cheers! Earlier Sunday booze sales coming across Georgia

    By: Berndt Petersen

    Updated:

    Bottoms up.

    Every metro Atlanta community that held a referendum Tuesday on allowing earlier Sunday alcohol sales appeared to approve the measure.

    Senate Bill 17 — the so-called “Brunch Bill” or “Mimosa Mandate” — passed through Georgia’s legislature earlier this year, giving local governments the opportunity to call referendums on allowing Sunday drink sales to start at 11 a.m. rather than 12:30 p.m.

    Channel 2's Berndt Petersen was in Forsyth County, where one restaurant was already ordering more champagne and orange juice to make more mimosas. 

    Nicole Foshey, a server at Windward Tavern, said she is excited about how the change will improve business. 

    "It's going to be great for business," Foshey said. "I think it gives people a little extra time to enjoy themselves on Sunday."

    Foshey said she and fellow servers think most -- if not all -- of their customers helped the measure pass. They think the Sunday brunch crowd will now pick up. 

    Pam Collins, a patron, said the change might take some getting used to. 

    "We go out often on Sunday, and we've had people say, 'You can't have a drink yet,'" Collins said. 

    [RELATED: Results from every Georgia midterm election race]

    There is still some confusion about the new rules in Forsyth County concerning restaurants inside of the Cumming city limits. 

    City officials said by the time the county board of elections told them they'd have to prepare their own referendum, it was too late to get it on the ballot. That means restaurants like Marie's Italian Deli in Cumming will not be allowed to serve alcohol earlier. 

    Marie's owner Karen Smith said she's worried about what will happen now and hopes her loyal customers will stick with her. 

    "The county officials, the city officials, they all eat here," Smith said. "I love them, but I wish I had been aware of it. We'll try to get it on the ballot next year."

    A total of 87 counties and cities across Georgia added such referendums to Tuesday’s ballots, according to the Secretary of State’s Office. About 30 of those communities were in the immediate metro Atlanta area.

    Next Up: