Grovetown officials are passing on to residents the decision to allow Sunday alcohol sales.
Mike and Donna Hall, of Grovetown, enjoy a free meal during the French Market Express' opening party Wednesday. Situated in front of Ivy Falls Plantation, at the corner of Oxbow Drive and Columbia Road, French Market Express officially opened for business Thursday.
Photo by Scott Trubey
Grovetown City Council met Sept. 2 to approve sending a resolution allowing Sunday by-the-drink alcohol sales to a referendum vote on the November ballot.
"Let me advise the members of council," Mayor Dennis Trudeau said at the meeting. "If you are voting affirmative, you are not voting to have liquor by the drink on Sundays.
"What you are doing is voting to allow the citizens of Grovetown to vote to see if they want to have consumption of liquor by the drink on Sundays."
The council approved the first reading of an ordinance in May to allow by-the-drink sales on Sundays at licensed restaurants, hotels and private clubs.
The second reading was tabled when the city's attorney, Brendan Fleming, discovered that Georgia law requires that Sunday alcohol sales be approved by voters on a referendum.
"We couldn't do it because we had to have a referendum because it is on Sunday," Trudeau said. "There is a different regulation to have liquor by the drink on Sunday. It has got to be done by a referendum."
If passed, the referendum would drinks to be sold on Sundays. City ordinances already allow by-the-drink sales on all other days of the week.
Trudeau said the city council hopes that if the referendum is approved, it will attract more restaurants to the city. Trudeau has said Applebee's Neighborhood Grill and Bar has expressed interest in The Vineyards at Grovetown, a new residential and commercial development along Wrightsboro Road.
But such restaurants will not build in an area that prohibits Sunday sales, he says.
Currently, the only restaurant to serve alcohol inside the city is El Kiosko, Grovetown's only sit-down restaurant.
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