By Chris Fuhrmeister
Hate waiting until 12:30 p.m. for your Bloody Marys and mimosas? This bill is for you.
Because Sunday morning hair of the dog can't arrive soon enough after a late Saturday night, a few state legislators have penned HB 535, also known as the Georgia Brunch Bill. If passed into law, Georgia restaurants would be able to serve alcohol at 10:30 a.m. on Sunday mornings, instead of waiting until 12:30 p.m.
A BILL to be entitled an Act to amend Title 3 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to alcoholic beverages, so as to provide that governing authorities of counties and municipalities in which the sale of alcoholic beverages for consumption on the premises is lawful may authorize sales of such alcoholic beverages during a certain time on Sundays; to change the time on Sunday during which farm wineries may sell certain wine for consumption on the premises; to provide for related matters; to repeal conflicting laws; and for other purposes.
The bill has bi-partisan co-sponsorship from State Representatives Brett Harrell (R, Snellville), Alan Powell (R, Hartwell), Margaret Kaiser (D, Atlanta), Spencer Frye (D, Athens), Allen Peake (R, Macon), and John Pezold (R, Fortson), and it is currently in the House Regulated Industries Committee. While the majority of co-sponsors aren't in the restaurant business, Peake is the co-owner of C&P Restaurant Co., which operates several of Cheddar's and Captain D's locations, and Pezold's Pezold Management operates a number of McDonald's outposts.
The Georgia Restaurant Association says passage of the bill would generate an average of $25,000 per year for Georgia restaurants and "drive jobs, tourism, and economic growth in our state."
Vital update, March 13: The bill has passed the Georgia House and is now onto the Senate, according to a release from the Georgia Restaurant Association. If it passes the Senate and Governor Nathan Deal signs it into law, the GRA estimates brunchers will be able to engage in morning drinking in roughly 60 days.