Bar Owner Wants Sunday Alcohol Sales During St. Patrick's Day Weekend
By Mike Miller, WJBF Weekend Anchor and Investigative Reporter - email
Augusta, GA -
Some local bar owners are upset because they can't sell alcohol on Sundays during St. Patrick's Day weekends.
Georgia lawmakers passed Senate Bill 318 last week, which allows bars to serve alcohol on Sundays that fall during the St. Patrick's Day Celebration. However, the law didn't change in Augusta, which is why one local bar owner is speaking out.
Adrian Estrada has been pouring a lot of green beer over the past few days.
"Everybody enjoys St. Patrick's Day. It's the one weekend that everyone lets their hair down, so they come out and have a good time," Estrada said.
Estrada owns The Loft in downtown Augusta. He says business was booming on Friday and Saturday, however, on Sunday, he couldn't open his doors because city law doesn't allow bars to serve alcohol on Sundays.
"It's like the momentum. Once you got the momentum going, why stop? In an effect, in business, in sports, whatever it is. If you have that momentum going into it, I mean there's no telling what we could have made," Estrada said.
Last week, Governor Nathan Deal signed Senate Bill 318 into law, which authorizes the sale of adult beverages on Sundays during the celebration of St. Patrick's Day. The Augusta Commission could have adopted an ordinance or resolution to make it the law valid here, but that didn't happen.
"It passed in Atlanta and it passed in Savannah, but yet, Richmond County had no idea about it," Estrada said.
License and Inspection Director Rob Sherman says his office didn't find out about the law until Friday morning, which by then, was too late to bring to commissioners. But for the next St. Patrick's Day Holiday, the law could change.
"Yeah, we would. Especially if we hear from the bar owners. That they are interested in it. Even if it's only one or two, we'll take it to the commission through the public hearing process," Sherman said.
"I think they really dropped the ball on this. It's revenue for the bar owners and it's revenue for the city," Estrada said.
District 1 Commissioner Bill Fennoy said he would have supported a change to city law to allow Sunday alcohol sales during St. Patrick's Day festivities.