Coming to F’ville: Longer drinking hours, fewer restrictions
Pretty soon you can legally drink your way into the next day, seven days a week, as the Fayetteville City Council on Sept. 6 will hear a proposal that would extend the times alcoholic beverages can be served and the percentage of food-to-alcohol sales in restaurants.
Other features of the proposed amendment to the alcohol ordinance would allow for the sale of “growlers” and for wine bars and wine tasting events.
The council will hear the first reading of a proposal to add several amendments to the city’s alcohol ordinance. Director of Community Development Brian Wismer said the proposals are a result of conversations from the council retreat earlier this year.
Among the proposed amendments are those that would allow alcohol to be served until 1 a.m. each night of the week. The ordinance currently requires that those sales end at midnight on Saturdays and Sundays.
Another proposed change deals with the percentage of alcohol-to-food sales in restaurants, cafes and dining facilities. The current standard requires that 75 percent of sales come from prepared foods. The proposal would drop the requirement to 60 percent. The proposal does not include wine bars, a new provision in the ordinance where a higher percentage of alcohol sales would apply.
Another new provision would allow wine tasting events and educational classes. Wismer said such events have become popular in some communities around the state and can be an effective tool for non-profit fund-raising.
Still another new amendment deals with businesses selling “growlers,” a large bottle sealed from a malt beverage tap and sold to the public. Growlers are sold for off-premises consumption. Wismer said stores that sell growlers specialize in craft and micro-brewed beer that can be largely unfamiliar to the general public. The ability to offer samples has been shown in other communities to be an effective way to promote sales of such offerings. Like wine tastings, this amendment would allow for sampling in conjunction with potential purchases, Wismer said.
Recommending approval of the amendment, Wismer said city staff feels that the proposed amendments will be beneficial to the city’s economic development and recruitment efforts and will allow certain businesses in other communities to now consider Fayetteville in their expansion plans. It also furthers the goals that are defined in the City’s Comprehensive Plan for the Main Street Historic District, said Wismer.