Margaritas, Methodists separated now only by a Square

Looking slightly northeast across the Old Courthouse Square toward the Fayetteville First United Methodist Church.

Church, meet your close neighbor, liquor by the glass.

Distance is no longer a factor in Fayetteville for those wanting to purchase alcohol at restaurants around Courthouse Square and in shopping centers in close proximity to churches. The City Council Aug. 19 approved the measure by unanimous vote.

The relaxed liquor rules means that margaritas and Methodists will be separated by only the old courthouse square. The city wants to encourage a liquor-by-the-drink restaurant within a shot-glass toss from the historic Fayetteville First United Methodist Church.

The council approved an amendment to the alcohol ordinance changing the distance requirement between shopping centers and commercial properties located on the Old Courthouse Square and churches. The ordinance previously stated that businesses serving alcohol must be at least 100 yards from a church.

“We have noticed a trend lately where temporary church facilities are locating in (shopping) centers thereby restricting the allowed use of those commercial centers by retailers of alcoholic beverages,” city staff said. “The proposed amendment would exempt businesses within (shopping) centers and commercial properties located on the Old Courthouse Square from the 100 yard distance limitation from church facilities.”

Previously, and as it applied to shopping centers and to the south and west sides of Old Courthouse Square, a business already located within 100 yards of a storefront that becomes occupied by a church would be grandfathered, but a business that wanted to move in where a church is already operating in an existing store front less than 100 yards away would not be allowed to do so.

secret squirrel
secret squirrel's picture
Joined: 10/26/2005
F'ville advances?

Nice to see common sense reign in the bible belt. However, I'd suggest that a strong sign of progress would be to convert the non-tax paying Methodist church into a strip club. Revenue hand over fist and a much better use of the property.

littleoleme's picture
Joined: 08/30/2010
Methodist speaks out

This is an interesting article which earned BIG laughs yesterday at the Methodist church about which it speaks. According to the senior minister, the church was never contacted by this paper for comment before this article was written. However, I shall speak for myself, not my church, as a long-time member of Fayetteville First UMC.

We certainly don't want drunks tossing their cookies in our doorways. But we welcome drunks to our church, whether as members of AA, which we sponsor, or as individuals seeking the shelter, protection and love of God.

We're proud of our beautiful church, love its downtown location and are willing to accept the benefits and consequences of it. But we're talking about restaurants and I've never met a Methodist who didn't like to go out to eat. Bottom line: bring on the restaurants, margaritas and all.

By the way, I resent the author telling my church how it should feel. We're quite capable of our own opinions, thanks.

MajorMike's picture
Joined: 10/20/2005

I was raised in a Baptist Church and left it at age sixteen for reasons that you probably can guess. For what it's worth to you, I have a great deal of respect for the Methodist Church and Fayetteville First UMC in particular. The people and staff there "walk the walk".

hutch866's picture
Joined: 12/28/2005

I read this article several times and nowhere in it did I see where the author told your church how it should feel, maybe you could point that section out.

Courthouserules's picture
Joined: 07/02/2010

Then why is there a law about church locations and liquor? Obviously churches demanded it! That is how they felt!

What churches? Protestant minus Catholic, I suppose.

Another stupid thing mixing religion with government. Liquor OK here, but not right there!

Courthouserules's picture
Joined: 07/02/2010
Oh, those Methodists!

Having raised my kids up within a Methodist Church, I understand exactly what the Fayetteville member means.
Those old rules about "what can I do, and can't do, on Sunday," etc., never meant too much for Methodists anyway. Everyone could tend to their own business as far as they were concerned.
We would even help pull other oxen out of ditches on Sunday and run off the goring bull!

Religion should be a stand-along thing and have nothing to do with politics or government. Give Caesar his and keep yours!
Some of this recent publicity and groupings of those wanting honor restored and God back into government are dangerous people and could ruin both government and religion.

Appeals to dissatisfied small groups by idiots has been a failed policy for hundreds of years.

Main Stream
Main Stream's picture
Joined: 04/27/2006
even Jesus drank wine

"....margaritas and Methodists will be separated by only the old courthouse square."

OH THE HORROR! IT'S THE END OF THE WORLD AS WE KNOW IT! A black man as president, a mosque at ground zero, cats and dogs living together, and now this, liquor-by-the-drink right next to a church in F'tteville!

Courthouserules's picture
Joined: 07/02/2010
Only "Holy" wine (less than 15%)....

....can be drank, and if I had to bet I'll bet Jesus' wine, if he drank any, was just that!
Yes, strange things are happening, aren't they? Christ "rose." The poem (?) Maya Angelo wrote about "rising," the album Bruce Springsteen issued about "rising," the new TV show about New Orleans "rising," The commercial on TV about the Atlanta Falcons, "rising," with full black leader and chorus of spiritual )?) singers, The LaHay books about "rising" (Left Behind stuff), and now there is a movie about that last one.

What is all of this "rising stuff?"
I read it all and at first I thought it was all racial, but then some of it is religious, and of course Springsteen's is always "patriotic" (Born in The USA), and the football stuff I suppose is meant to sell tickets to "spiritual" people for the Falcons! Ain't much less spiritual people than football and basketball players!

So, maybe what needs to happen about alcohol on Sundays in Fayetteville anywhere anyone wants to sell it (conservative method), is to have a "rising!" Whatever that means!

RKS's picture
Joined: 07/23/2009
Very smart move

WE need a good restaurant on the square!

Spyglass's picture
Joined: 01/28/2008
The Square is crying out for real restaurants..

This is a good move by the City.

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