BY WAYNE GRANT | STAFF WRITER
Ormond Beach residents and visitors are one step closer to being able enjoy a mimosa with Sunday brunch or pick up some beer on the way to a picnic, following the Ormond Beach City Commission passing an ordinance Tuesday in a first reading allowing alcohol sales before noon on Sundays.
The commission will vote again on the ordinance before it becomes law.
On Sept. 17, the commission discussed how the Sunday morning ban caused local merchants to lose sales because customers had to drive to a neighboring municipality to buy alcoholic beverages. A local restaurant owner complained that he lost business because he could not serve mimosas with Sunday brunch.
Commissioner Troy Kent started the discussion at the September meeting.
“How long ago was this law created?” he asked at the time. “Is it time to reevaluate it?”
The commissioners decided the law was antiquated and needed to be more in line with regulations in other jurisdictions. The commission directed staff to amend the code and the proposed change, allowing alcohol sales to begin at 7 a.m..
The amendment was approved unanimously with Commissioner Rick Boehm, who is traveling, absent.
Local restaurant owners agree revising the ordinance is a good idea
“I don’t know why they wouldn’t allow (alcohol sales),” said Meryl Sarppier, owner of Frappes North on West Granada Boulevard. “If it helps a person make a business why not? I think they should revisit that law.”
She said her restaurant does not currently serve Sunday brunch so the new law would not affect them. But other area restaurants may consider adding Sunday morning service for brunch if alcohol sales are allowed.
Joshua Buffington, co-owner of Buffington’s Bar and Grill said earlier alcohol sales would “greatly help” the entire Ormond Beach restaurant community. He said his restaurant recently held a poker run for charity on a Sunday and “lost a large amount of sales due to this restriction.”
He said his restaurant is currently closed on Sunday but if the law is changed he would consider opening for Sunday brunch as well as lunch.
Kevin Wakefield, owner of Grind Gastropub and Kona Tiki Bar, said his business is not currently open on Sunday morning.
“But it would make it viable in the future,” he said. “It might influence us to have a Sunday brunch.”
Restaurants that are only licensed for beer and wine can serve the popular brunch drink, mimosa, because it is made with champagne.
Carlos Soldevilla, owner of La’s Bistro, currently serves a mimosa drink with brunch on Saturday morning and Sunday afternoon. In addition to regular mimosas with orange juice, he also offers pineapple and strawberry versions.
“Families come in on Sunday morning and we’d like to offer a mimosa,” he said. “People work all week and would like to relax with a drink.”
At the September meeting, the commissioners also said they had heard from grocery store owners who also said they lost business to other communities. Dwaine Stevens, spokesman for Publix at the company’s Jacksonville headquarters, did not want to comment, saying the grocery store chain does not get involved with local alcohol issues.
“If the people and members of the Ormond Beach City Commission are willing to change the law, Publix will follow their decision,” Stevens said.