F’ville Council headed toward OK of relaxed alcohol regulations
Do you want to drink later in Fayetteville or stop in for a “growler” to go or maybe attend a wine tasting event? These are some of the proposed changes to the city’s alcohol ordinance the Fayetteville City Council heard on Sept. 6 and will likely vote on later this month.
The council on Sept. 6 heard the first reading of a proposal that would add several amendments to the city’s alcohol ordinance. The proposed changes, said city Director of Community Development Brian Wismer, were the result of conversations from the council retreat in March.
One of the proposed amendments 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 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 fundraising.
Still another new amendment deals with businesses selling “growlers,” a large bottle sealed from a malt beverage tap and sold to the public 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, the amendment would allow for sampling in conjunction with potential purchases, Wismer said.
Also up for consideration is a change that 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.
Wismer said city staff believes 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 ongoing plan for the Main Street Historic District, said Wismer.
The amended ordinance will be up for a vote at the Sept. 20 meeting.