Chatham County

Will ‘Brunch Bill’ booze sales help Pittsboro businesses get a jump on Chatham Park? Officials weigh in

Pittsboro town commissioners cited economic opportunity for restaurants in downtown Pittsboro on Aug. 28, 2017, when they voted to allow alcohol sales at 10 a.m. on Sunday mornings.
Pittsboro town commissioners cited economic opportunity for restaurants in downtown Pittsboro on Aug. 28, 2017, when they voted to allow alcohol sales at 10 a.m. on Sunday mornings. cseward@newsobserver.com

Some Pittsboro town commissioners weren’t thrilled with the decision to sell alcohol on Sunday mornings.

Commissioner Jay Farrell, who voted against the move, said he didn’t think it was going to help the local economy that much.

“Down the road, when we have all these restaurants, hotels, and whatever, it may be necessary, but I just don’t see right now the great economic development that we’ll get out of selling alcohol at 10 o’clock on Sunday morning,” he said.

The 4-1 vote changes the town’s local rule, which previously did not allow alcohol to be sold before 1 p.m. on Sundays. Many other places around the state began selling at noon on Sunday before the General Assembly recently authorized towns and counties to change their rules. So-called brunch bills already have been approved in Chapel Hill, Carrboro, Durham, Raleigh, Hillsborough and other communities.

Pittsboro Commissioner Pamela Baldwin also wasn’t happy about the decision, but she voted for it anyway, citing emails that she had received in support of the change.

Others, including Commissioner Michael Fiocco, noted that Chatham Park is under development on the edge of town and will be bringing in many restaurants and businesses. Earlier alcohol sales will be a tool that downtown business owners can use now to get a jump on the coming competition, they said.

“Having been part of the Main Street program and attending the (Pittsboro Business Association) meetings the last eight years, there’s been a common theme, and that is knowing that Chatham Park is coming and doing everything that we can to make downtown vibrant,” Fiocco said.

“There are a lot of people who really enjoy a Sunday brunch with a bloody Mary or a mimosa or something, and it is a real attraction to those folks who want to take that time from Sunday morning to Sunday afternoon and enjoy a good meal and a drink,” he said.

Chatham County’s Board of Commissioners have not yet considered making the change.

Tammy Grubb: 919-829-8926, @TammyGrubb

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