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‘Brunch bill’ approved in Gainesville means earlier Sunday sales starting Feb. 3

Starting Feb. 3, restaurants in Gainesville will be able to serve alcohol a little earlier on Sundays.

The Gainesville City Council voted Tuesday to allow restaurants to sell alcohol beginning at 11 a.m. on Sundays, a change from current rules that only allow sales to start at 12:30 p.m. In November, about 70 percent of voters in Gainesville approved the measure.

A state law passed in 2018, often called the “brunch bill,” allows municipalities and counties to put the item on local ballots and let voters decide if restaurants should be allowed to serve alcohol earlier on Sundays. The law does not apply to grocery stores.

Councilman George Wangemann cast the only opposing vote Tuesday.

Restaurants in Oakwood and Flowery Branch will also be able to start selling alcohol earlier on Feb. 3. Hall County voters approved the change in November, and the Hall County Board of Commissioners will be holding two hearings on the item on Jan. 10 and 24, with a vote set for Jan. 24.

Local governments need to change their ordinances before restaurants can begin earlier sales.

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