Nothing quite takes the edge off a Sunday morning headache like a wholesome brunch, along with a healthy stalk of celery, wrapped with a spicy Bloody Mary. But, here in Louisville, the law requires you to wait until church is out. Restaurants are not allowed to serve alcohol before noon on the Sabbath.
Disappointed? Well, today, by a vote of 16 to 7, the Metro Council--mirable dictu--has given approval to expand “by the drink” liquor sales on Sundays for restaurants in Metro Louisville.
“With the passage of this legislation we have taken steps toward furthering economic growth in Louisville through our hospitality industry,” said Councilman David Tandy (D-4). “This helps our economy keep dollars circulating in our community by allowing Louisville restaurants to compete with their Southern Indiana counterparts.”
Tandy is the primary sponsor of the ordinance. Co-Sponsors included Councilmen Rick Blackwell (D-12), President Jim King (D-10) and Councilman Kevin Kramer (R-11).
“Many guests to our community are surprised to find out that they cannot have a drink with their brunch,” said Blackwell. “This allows them to have that option on Sundays, too.”
The ordinance reads as follows:
“…..Notwithstanding the provisions of subsections (A), (B), and (C), all hotels, motels, and restaurants, which are retail drink and wine by the drink licensees who receive at least 50% or more of their gross annual income from dining facilities by the sale of food and airport drink licensees and horse track licensees, may sell, permit to be sold, or permit consumption of liquor, or wine, or malt beverages by the drink on Sundays between the hours of 10:00 a.m. and 12:00 a.m. on Monday, the following day….”
All remaining sales restrictions for the sale of alcohol on Sundays are unchanged. The ordinance only affects restaurants. It does not allow earlier hours for retail outlets and stores to sell alcohol on Sunday. The ordinance will go into effect upon the signature of Mayor Fischer.
The old law (in case you're wondering) was based upon the theory that nonbelievers would be tempted to imbibe while church services were being conducted, and would show up drunk and rowdy as the church folk were leaving their places of worship. There doesn't seem to be a lot of historical evidence that this sort of behavior was ever much of a problem, and supporters of the old law would be quick to credit the law for its efficacy.
Similarly, we used to have a law here in Kentucky making it a crime to "display a stud horse" in the proximity of a house of worship, while a prayer service was actually being conducted. That statute was repealed a few years back, and there does not appear to have been any rash of stud horse displaying near churches in recent years.
We'll be sure to report back to you, if the Bloody Mary brunchers start getting out of hand.