The prospect that Greenwood may allow the sale of alcoholic beverages on Sundays has some restaurant owners elated.
On Tuesday, Mayor Carolyn McAdams urged City Council members to consider changing the city’s ordinance to allow restaurants to sell alcoholic drinks on Sundays.
Diners can drink beer at restaurants on Sundays but not other alcoholic beverages.
Though many restaurants in town are closed on Sundays, managers of some that stay open have expressed interest in the mayor’s proposal.
Johnny Ballas, the owner of The Crystal Grill on Carrollton Avenue, says a change could benefit his Sunday night customers.
“People like to have a glass of wine with their meal on Sundays,” Ballas said.
Diners also can “brown bag,” or bring their own alcoholic drinks, on Sunday nights, he said.
Ballas said changing the city ordinance would be “more of a convenience to my clientele than me pushing alcohol sales on Sunday.”
He said he doesn’t see any benefit for his Sunday lunch crowd, which he describes as “mostly church people” who wouldn’t be “fond of drinking in front of their pastors.”
He did say it would also benefit tourists, who more than likely would want a drink with their meal.
Leonel Perez, owner and manager of La Terraza on Park Avenue, another restaurant open on Sundays, also favors the proposal. He said there are always customers who ask for alcoholic beverages that can’t be sold on Sundays — particularly margaritas.
The only question Perez had was how soon the city would change its ordinance.
In a town where churches continue to remain a pillar for many people’s lives, what do pastors think?
The Rev. Calvin Collins, pastor of New Zion Missionary Baptist Church, opposes the proposal.
Six days of alcohol consumption is more than enough, said Collins, who sees alcohol as detrimental to one’s physical, spiritual and mental well-being.
“Not doing it on Sundays would contribute to helping society and not hurting us,” he said.
The Rev. Rusty Douglas, pastor of First Presbyterian Church, said he is not opposed to the proposal.
“We’re not teetotalers,” Douglas said of Presbyterians. “My guess it’s not going to upset many Presbyterians.”
Douglas said John Calvin, the spiritual father of Presbyterians, liked Psalm 104:15, which states God created wine to “maketh glad the heart of man.”
Douglas did say, “You are not to drink to get drunk.”
The Rev. Peter Gray, pastor of the Episcopal Church of the Nativity, said he has no position on the proposal.
The proposed changes would affect only restaurants with liquor licenses and wouldn’t change the ban on package store sales of alcohol on Sundays.
Alcohol sales are currently allowed at The Alluvian hotel’s bar and Giardina’s Restaurant as they operate under a resort license rather than a restaurant license.
And any change in the law would take time.
The council still has to study the issue and then vote on it, although no council member during Tuesday’s meeting expressed any reservations about changing the ordinance.
The only question council members had about the proposal was what hours restaurants would be allowed to sell alcoholic beverages on Sundays. McAdams recommended 10 a.m. to midnight. Ward 1’s Johnny Jennings suggested 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Even if the council votes to change the ordinance, McAdams said, the city will still need to wait 30 days before the change takes effect.
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