• Georgia restaurants could soon begin selling alcohol before noon on Sundays

    By: Richard Elliot

    Updated:

    ATLANTA - Georgia restaurants could soon begin selling alcohol before noon on Sundays if the so-called "Mimosa Bill" gets through the General Assembly. That bill passed a Senate committee Tuesday afternoon.

    Restaurant owners, including Bob Sandage,  of the Wrecking Bar Brew Pub, said selling alcohol a few hours eariler on Sunday could mean a few extra dollars in their pockets.

    Sandage poured an imperial stout as his crew prepared for the dinner crowd. He told Channel 2's Richard Elliot that his restaurant was open for brunch at 11 a.m. on Sundays but two months ago, he stopped that.


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    Patrons, he said, didn’t want to come to eat if they couldn’t have an alcoholic drink, too.

    "It was just a business decision, looking at the amount of money coming in versus the amount of labor we were putting out. It wasn’t making a lot of sense opening up early," Sandage said.

    But that could change.

    Gwinnett  State Sen. Rene Unterman is once again pushing the 'Mimosa Bill' through the Legislature.

    She took out the part allowing liquor or convenience stores to sell before noon on Sundays and left in the part allowing restaurants to pour a couple of hours early. After all, she says, the state allows the World Congress Center to do it.

    "We have a lot of restaurants that are lobbying for it, but also, a lot of people who just think that the market should be fair," Unterman said.

    But Mike Griffin of the Georgia Baptist Mission Board opposes it. He said allowing people more hours to drink just means more hours of potential problems.

    "And the more people drink, exponentially those problems that are associated with drinking are going up as well," Griffin said.

    Bob Sandage said if the 'Mimosa Bill' passes, he’ll open up early again for Sunday brunch.

    "I’d recommend to my ownership and management team that we give it a try again," Sandage said.

    The Georgia Baptist Mission Board said it believes this is a public health issue.

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