Sunday early alcohol sales begin in Charlotte, restaurants already seeing benefit

- For the first time, Charlotte brunch lovers were able to get a head start on Sunday happy hour. Charlotte city council passed the "brunch bill" less than a week ago, but local restaurants say they are already seeing an impact.

"You'll have people who will literally have their drinks ordered, at noon," said Brian Bruce from Killingtons Restaurant & Pub in Huntersville.

Customers don't want to wait until noon anymore. Charlotte restaurants are now serving alcohol at 10 a.m and bartenders say they are already seeing the benefits.

"I did realize that now that this brunch bill has passed people now tend to not only get busier, but it was a little more spread out," said Miguel Cabeda, General Manager at Bistro La Bon in Plaza Midwood.

Cabeda says Bistro La Bon has always opened at 10 a.m., but the first two hours only food orders were allowed.

Now with the "Brunch Bill" passed, mimosas are flowing throughout the morning and it's helping the restaurants bottom line.

"It will indeed help, because now people don't have to wait," said Cabeda.

Although the City of Charlotte waited until this Sunday for early alcohol sales, Huntersville has been serving two hours early for the past 3 weeks.

"We immediately thought we were going to adjust our hours, there was no question about it," said Bruce.

Brian Bruce, the executive chef at Killingtons Restaurant & Pub, says that  since they've been opening one hour early on Sundays, they've seen a small uptick in sales.

He expects the real test to happen this fall, when football returns.

"People were almost kind of tailgating before they go to the bar and watch their game, so now we will be that spot. The money they were spending drinking at home we are going to be seeing here hopefully," said Bruce.

Not everyone is welcoming early alcohol sales with open arms.

The North Carolina Christian Action League sent a letter to Mecklenburg County Commissioners earlier this month, saying early alcohol sales was disrespectful because some churches don't end services until after noon.

County Commissioners passed the ordinance on July 11 for unincorporated parts of Mecklenburg County.

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