While many towns and cities in Barrow County took the question regarding Sunday alcohol sales before voters in November 2011, the Bethlehem Town Council made the decision in March 2012 to let local voters have their say on the matter during the July 31 local and state primary elections.
If residents of the small Barrow town follow the example set by their neighbors in Auburn, Braselton, Statham and Winder, the referendum should pass — ending the long-standing ban on Sunday alcohol sales and allowing for the sale of beer and wine at convenience stores between the hours of 12:30 and 11:30 p.m.
During the town council meeting earlier this month, Mayor Sandy McNab suggested there may be a need for a second referendum on the November 2012 ballot, allowing for alcohol sales by the drink at local restaurants on Sundays, as well. Long concerned with the growth of Bethlehem’s business sector, McNab feels this will make the town more attractive to national restaurant chains.
“If we want to bring in Applebees or Longhorns, we have to get on the same playing field or these places will just go up the road,” relayed the mayor during the June 4 meeting with regard to local municipality and county alcohol ordinances. Bethlehem has already proven itself a viable option for businesses with the establishment and continued growth in and around Barrow Crossing shopping center, boasting such highly touted national retail anchors as Target, Belk, PetSmart and Staples.
Weigh in, Bethlehem residents. Do you believe convenience stores in your town should be allowed to sell beer and wine on Sundays? If so, how do you feel about drinks by the glass at local restaurants on Sundays? Tell us in comments.
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Have you nominated an Bethlehem business for a Patch Readers' Choice award yet? Click here to find out how to nominate one now.
Check back every Tuesday for a new City Spotlight on one of two great Barrow County towns — Bethlehem and Carl.