Friday, Oct 31, 2014
Local News

LP alcohol law a positive for business


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LAKE PLACID — Customers have been taking advantage of the earlier Sunday sales of liquor, while no negative effects have been reported in the three and half months since the passage of an alcohol ordinance that lifted some restrictions.

The Lake Placid Town Council unanimously approved an ordinance on Jan. 13 that allows the sale of alcoholic beverages starting at 7 a.m. on Sundays instead of 1 p.m., and removes the ban on alcohol sales within 800 feet of a church or school. The town continues to observe a state law that bans alcohol sales within 500 feet of a school.

Council believed allowing Sunday alcohol sales would help some businesses and removing the church distance requirement would ease restrictions in the small downtown area for those who want to open a restaurant that serves alcohol.

Super Wine & Liquor on U.S. 27 South has taken advantage of the new law and now opens at 9 a.m. on Sundays.

Clerk Cyrus Welch said, “It has made a lot of our customers very happy; they don’t have to wait until 1 o’clock to get anything.”

The Lake Placid Beef O’Brady’s at 110 Plaza Ave. starts serving alcohol when it opens at 11 a.m. on Sundays.

Gilbert Randall said some are taking advantage of the opportunity to have a drink.

It hasn’t been a “significant life-changing event,” he said with a laugh.

Jacqueline Alonso opened Havana Nights Cuban Cafe & Bakery, which sells beer and wine, about three weeks ago at 204 N. Main Avenue.

Alonso said in obtaining her occupational license at the police station, Chief James Fansler checked the distances from schools and churches and told her the location looked good.

She didn’t know if the alcohol ordinance made a difference at her location. “I am sure if the law was more stringent then we wouldn’t have been able to get it [beer and wine license],” Alonso said. She is not open on Sunday so the change to allow earlier Sunday alcohol sales had no effect on her.

Ann’s Gourmet Cafe’ and Catering opened Thursday at 525 W. Interlake Blvd., but does not serve alcohol. Co-owner Ken Whisenant said he may look into serving alcohol.

“We are still studying some things,” he said.

Mayor John Holbrook said he has heard a lot of good comments since the ordinance went into effect.

“Everything I have heard has been positive and upbeat,” he said. “When you weigh all the pros and cons, the pros outweigh the cons tremendously.”

The town has even heard from a couple of store owners outside the town limits who wanted to know if they could start serving alcohol on Sunday mornings, but unfortunately they can’t, Holbrook said.

He hasn’t heard any negative comments, but one person asked why the town council changed the alcohol law.

“We did this to help some of our businesses downtown bring a few more people in,” he said.

A man commented that if somebody needs a beer before church on Sunday then they really have a problem, Holbrook said.

Holbrook asked the man if he went to church on Wednesday and he said, “yes.”

Holbrook responded, “does that mean we can’t sell alcohol on Wednesday afternoon because you go to church?”

The man said it was a good point that he hadn’t thought about, Holbrook said.

Fansler said there have been no repercussions from the changes in the law.

mvalero@highlandstoday.com

(863) 386-5826

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