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Alcohol now flowing as early as 11 a.m. Sundays at local restaurants
Brunch bill went into effect Feb. 3 in Gainesville, Flowery Branch, Oakwood and Hall County
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Avocados manager Alicia Webb makes a mimosa Sunday, Feb. 3, 2019, at the downtown Gainesville restaurant as the brunch bill goes into effect allowing alcohol to be served starting at 11 a.m. Sundays. - photo by Scott Rogers

A steady flow of mimosas and bloody Mary drinks started as soon as the clock struck 11 a.m. Sunday in Gainesville.

The new “brunch bill” took effect Sunday, Feb. 3, allowing restaurants to sell alcohol at 11 a.m., instead of the previous rule of 12:30 p.m.

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Visitors to Avocados restaurant in downtown Gainesville Sunday, Feb. 3, 2019, were able to order alcohol with their meals starting at 11 a.m. as the brunch bill went into effect in Gainesville, Flowery Branch, Oakwood and Hall County. - photo by Scott Rogers

Thanks to the Gainesville City Council, which voted in favor of this new alcohol ordinance in January, restaurants can sell alcohol at 11 a.m., instead of the previous rule of 12:30 p.m.

Around 70 percent of voters in Gainesville had approved the measure in November.

Voters in Hall County, Flowery Branch and Oakwood also voted in favor of earlier Sunday sales. Lula and Clermont did not put the item up for a vote, meaning the sales will not be allowed within those city limits.

Then-Gov. Nathan Deal signed a bill in May that gave municipalities the option to allow restaurants to start selling alcohol at the earlier time. The law does not apply to grocery stores.

Businesses in Gainesville known for their brunch — including Avocados Restaurant and 2 Dog — didn’t hesitate to take advantage of the new rules.

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Avocados manager Alicia Webb works behind the downtown Gainesville restaurant's bar Sunday, Feb. 3, 2019, as the new brunch bill took effect allowing alcohol to be served starting at 11 a.m. Sundays. - photo by Scott Rogers

“We’re excited,” Alicia Webb, manager of Avocados Restaurant said. “It’s money for us, and the customers are happy. They’ve been asking about it since it got passed.”

Webb said her restaurant made a special flight of mimosas for the occasion on Sunday.

Betsy Hendricks, who drank a mimosa during her brunch at Avocados, said she thought the approval of the bill showed “great strides for Gainesville.”

Cindy Wilson of Gainesville grabbed brunch with her family on Sunday at 2 Dog. Wilson said it was a welcome change.  

“I’m happy that they passed the legislation to get it here,” Wilson said. “We needed to get up-to-date with the times.”

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Visitors to Avocados Restaurant in downtown Gainesville Sunday, Feb. 3, 2019, were able to order alcohol with their meals starting at 11 a.m. as the brunch bill went into effect for Gainesville, Flowery Branch, Oakwood and Hall County. - photo by Scott Rogers
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