BARTOW, Fla. (WFLA) — City commissioners are one vote away from extending the hours for alcohol sales on Sunday.
Bartow business owners tell News Channel 8 the current ordinance prevents restaurants from serving Sunday brunch.
The Idlewood Venue is one local business that is hoping to benefit from revised rules that will allow the sale of alcohol starting at 9 a.m. on Sunday.
“We typically cannot open and serve alcohol before noon,” Idlewood’s chef and service director Jhonoy Jhonson said, “so it kind of defeats the purpose of us having a brunch because brunch comes with mimosas and Bloody Marys.”
Jhonson said he hopes that will change after a group of businesses lobbied the city commission to pass a new ordinance.
“For our greater area, we are the last one to hold to that no sales before noon and this will bring us in line with everybody else,” said Johnnie Levin, owner of the Front Page Brewing Company.
Levin explained why breweries and bars that don’t serve brunch still support the extended hours for alcohol sales on Sunday. She said it’s crucial to get this alcohol ordinance changed now heading into the busy fall season of events in Bartow.
“For events that we have downtown on the weekend, they usually start at 9 or 10 o’clock and then we can’t open or serve until noon,” Levin said, “so it’s a win-win for everybody.”
At their meeting Monday night, Bartow city commissioners are poised to allow pints to be poured and drinks to be mixed on Sunday morning.
“It’s actually been really cool watching everyone around Bartow rally together around just this concept of opening up more,” Jhonson said, “so we’re not giving away our sales and business to another city that’s about five minutes down the street.
The Bartow City Commission meeting begins at 6 p.m. on Monday.