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Hall County, some cities look at ‘brunch bill’ for Sunday morning alcohol sales

Restaurants in the area may soon be able to serve alcohol earlier on Sundays, pending approval from local officials and voters.

Gainesville, Flowery Branch, Braselton and Hall County may take advantage of the state’s “brunch bill,” signed by Gov. Nathan Deal in May. Senate Bill 17 gives cities and counties the option to allow restaurants to sell alcohol beginning at 11 a.m. on Sundays, if a local ballot referendum is approved by popular vote.

The previous law in Georgia only allowed alcohol sales after 12:30 p.m. on Sundays for both restaurants and grocers. The “brunch bill” only applies to restaurants.

The Flowery Branch City Council will be voting Thursday evening on whether the referendum will be added to the ballot on Nov. 6. The Gainesville City Council will address a resolution about a referendum at its next meeting on July 17, and Hall County commissioners are set to consider the bill at their July 26 meeting. The Braselton Town Council will vote July 9.  

Those cities and the county would all put the referendum on local ballots in November.

According to the law, the ballots would read, “Shall the governing authority of (name of municipality or county) be authorized to permit and regulate Sunday sales of distilled spirits or alcoholic beverages for beverage purposes by the drink from 11:00 A.M. to 12:30 P.M.?”

A “yes” vote would indicate approval of the expansion of hours for alcohol sales.