'It's finally here:' Drinks fly on 1st Sunday after Raleigh opts in on brunch bill

— Following a midweek vote by the City Council, Raleigh restaurants began serving alcohol a bit earlier on Sunday under the state’s new “brunch bill” legislation.

The bill, which allows restaurants to serve alcohol as early as 10 a.m. on Sundays, has been a big hit among hotel and restaurant owners.

“It’s going to help everybody, from the people that sell alcohol, to us, to the servers who are working really hard getting tips,” Tupelo Honey hospitality director David Gordon said. “It’s a really great bill to get passed.”

Gov. Roy Cooper signed the bill into law at the end of June.Local municipalities will have to decide whether to enact it. Raleigh and Carrboro wasted little time doing so, and brunch fans said Sunday they’re enjoying the change.

“As soon as the bill passed, we knew we just had to come to brunch today,” Amanda Yanushefski said.

“We’ve always joked about it, especially when people come to visit and you can’t take anyone out before noon,” Lindsay Underwood said. “I can’t believe it’s finally here.”

Gordon said Bloody Marys and Mimosas were “flying out of the bar” on Sunday.

Disco brunch at The Durham

“This does a lot for us. Not only does it increase our revenue, but it also adds some more shifts for some of our employees. We had to add an extra bartender on and a drink runner,” Gordon said. “If I want to break that down to a dollar amount, it could easily add another $3,000 in sales every Sunday to every restaurant that we have.”

There has been little opposition to the legislation. Raleigh Councilman Dickie Thompson was the lone vote against Raleigh’s switch. Otherwise, there was no debate on the issue.

Wednesday’s vote affects only businesses within Raleigh’s city limits. The other 11 municipalities in Wake County will have to hold their own votes on the issue, as well the county Board of Commissioners for unincorporated areas.

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