HARTSVILLE, SC (WMBF) - The Hartsville City Council passed its first hurdle in approving alcohol sales at restaurants and grocery stores on Sundays, making them the first city in Darlington County to approve this.
With all the growth on Main Street, restaurant owners say passing this ordinance could allow them to open up on Sundays to help bring in more revenue for the city.
Suzanne Galloway, co-owner of The Midnight Rooster, said, "Not only will it impact my restaurant, but it will impact the dynamics of the entire downtown Hartsville." She spoke at the first city council meeting and believes in keeping people in Hartsville to shop and eat local.
"Folks not going out of town on a Sunday to watch a football game or they can come to the local pub or wherever and if they choose to have a glass of wine with their lunch or brunch, they have that option," says Galloway.
Two advocates for the Hartsville Hospitality Council were the first to propose the change to city council. Laura Hoxworth, Communications Chair for the Hartsville Young Professionals, said, "It would just keep up that momentum that Hartsville has been enjoying recently and really just bring a lot of that business back into Hartsville that we've seen going to Florence and other surrounding areas on Sunday."
Ben Chastain is the Events Coordinator for the Hartsville Young Professionals and Duke Energy Employee. He said, "We are located in a small southern town so I can see how change can be kind of scary, however I think this can be looked at as just any other day. It's a growth opportunity for the city of Hartsville."
The Midnight Rooster would have the chance to host wedding receptions and hold a Sunday brunch, which Galloway said they've wanted to expand on. "Whether it's a cash bar or they are paying for it or whatever, it gives us the opportunity to have our bar open on Sunday for a private event," said Galloway.
Natalie Ziegler, Hartsville City Manager, said, "We currently don't have what people would think is a typical sports bar, and the reason from what I hear is that we don't have Sunday sales, and typically people would want to have maybe a beer while watching a football game on Sunday, So I think it would open us up to recruit more restaurants and bars."
Zeigler assures the city is not taking a stand either for or against it. She said, "We're just giving voters the power to make a decision and decide what the city should do."
A final vote will be taken at the city council meeting on March 8. If the ordinance passes, it will go on the November ballot.