Published on February 19th, 2014 | by TLV News0
Notes on Oxford Board of Aldermen Meeting: 2/18/2014 – Sunday Alcohol Sales for Restaurants & Bars!
Last night, Oxford’s Board of Aldermen voted to allow bars & restaurants to sell beer & alcohol on Sundays from 11 am – 9 pm! According to the ordinance passed tonight, the amendment to our city’s Municipal Code “shall take effect and be in force 30 days from the date of passage of the ordinance.”
With last year’s vote to (finally) allow cold beer, and last night’s vote, not to mention all the road construction planned to help make Oxford’s busiest days easier to manage, this Board of Aldermen seems a lot more progressive than it was a year ago.
Some people think it’s a wonder that it’s 2014 and this law change hadn’t even been made yet. Last night, Alderman John Morgan said, “Four and a half years ago we had this exact same vote, and if I’m not mistaken it was 6-1, and I think I was on the other side, but I’m ready to vote now.” We remember when that vote was taken, and at the time we were upset for the loss of potential revenue for Oxford businesses.
Our fair hamlet has changed a lot in the past four years; businesses on the Square have come and gone. And who knows — if Sunday bar sales had been passed, could some of those businesses have made it, if they’d had that much more revenue coming in? Think about it. We recently spoke to a local bar owner who said that it wasn’t worth it financially to be open on Sunday if alcohol sales weren’t allowed — if you take into consideration overhead costs and the priceless “time off” Oxford restaurant employees have enjoyed on Sunday, it’s expensive to be open when you can’t sell your best money-making item.
As far as revenue goes, this is a big WIN for Oxford’s business owners.
Janice Antonow was the first to speak up when Mayor Patterson asked for comments: ““I want to thank restaurants that have been open on Sundays, even though they were not able to sell alcohol. We appreciate them doing that. And we will continue to patronize them.” We also think this is commendable; we have quite a few advertisers who sell brunch on Sundays. Like Antonow, when we find that we’re driving around on Sunday looking for somewhere to eat, these establishments provide us with scrumptious options.
Other citizens seem to think our town needs to rest, one day a week at least. After all, in the past Ole Miss has been named one of the top party schools in the nation — and remember, “We may not win every game, but we’ve never lost a party!”
How about the folks who work every other day of the week and only get Sunday off?
The only comment Mayor “Pat” Patterson had to make, he says he made a few weeks ago: “While I support the restaurants being open, I fail to see – after reviewing video from this weekend – how opening bars on Sundays improves the character of the town.” We know how videos taken on the Square on a busy night could easily contain crazy stuff.
And, to The Local Voice, the point of the resolution passed tonight was not that allowing Sunday bar sales would ‘improve the character’ of the town, but that it allows our rights. As adults over the age of 21, by the law of the state of Mississippi, Sunday sales are allowed from 11 am – 9 pm…but city law trumps state law in this case so it was up to our Board. And there are bars and restaurants that still won’t open on Sunday, no matter the law, because the owners do want their day of rest; the point is that they have the choice.
Alderman Jay Hughes made a motion to pass the ordinance and got a second from John Morgan, and the Mayor announced that the motion had carried. The only Alderman who voted against the City’s law change was Ulysses Howell who seemed concerned that people were going to stay out late and not be able to wake up on Monday.
All that said, on the first Sunday after the obligatory thirty-day waiting period, we will see y’all at the bar!