Those who want to enjoy a Blood Mary or sip a mimosa during Sunday brunch can now do so at Wake County restaurants.
The Wake County commissioners voted Monday 6-1 in favor of allowing alcohol sales to start at 10 a.m. instead of noon on Sundays. Commissioner James West cast the lone ‘no’ vote.
Wake joined a growing number of municipalities and counties in North Carolina, including Chapel Hill and Carrboro, that now allow earlier alcohol sales. Under a new state approved in June, alcohol can be sold starting at 10 a.m. if local governing boards approve it.
“It’s a great opportunity for our citizens and our visitors to be able to enjoy an adult beverage at brunch on Sunday morning, and so to me, it’s just another value we can add,” Wake commissioners Chairman Sig Hutchinson said in an interview.
Raleigh, Cary, Wake Forest, Holly Springs and Apex already agreed to earlier alcohol sales. But the rule didn’t apply to unincorporated areas of Wake, including Raleigh-Durham International Airport. Commissioner Greg Ford said there are only 15 establishments – including several country clubs and the airport – that have alcohol permits and that fall in the unincorporated areas of the county.
The commissioners previously weighed in on allowing earlier sales. But since one commissioner – West – opposed the idea then, the board had to vote on the issue again at Monday’s meeting for the rule to take effect.
“I just kind of thought that 12 o’clock was early enough to start drinking on a Sunday,” West said in an interview. “But also I think it’s good to share other perspectives. Sometimes we rush to judgment. Actually, in this case, the county has a minor role in this. I kind of felt there wasn’t a sense of urgency for us to jump in on this. We could kind of see how it worked in the municipalities, but my fellow commissioners, I get they want to be a part of that and that’s fine.”
Kathryn Trogdon: 919-829-4845: @KTrogdon