News: Quick Takes

Clemmons the latest N.C. town to allow alcohol sales earlier on Sundays

Count the village of Clemmons as the latest N.C. municipality to allow the sale of alcohol beginning at 10 a.m. Sunday mornings.

About 19,000 people live in the village, a suburb of Winston-Salem in Forsyth County, home to breweries, wineries, and several distilleries, including Old Nick Williams in nearby Lewisville.

The Clemmons Council narrowly passed the ordinance allowing for the early alcohol sales at a meeting Monday, April 9, the Winston-Salem Journal reported.

Two council members objected to the move, the paper said. They said selling alcohol on Sunday mornings infringes upon what has traditionally been a time of worship, an argument used with little success by some state lawmakers as well.

Twenty counties and more than 125 municipalities in North Carolina so far have voted to allow restaurants and stores to serve alcohol beginning at 10 a.m. Sunday.

Gov. Roy Cooper signed Senate Bill 155 into law June 30. The bill also allows craft distillers to sell five bottles to customers each year and allows the distillers to offer tastings at festivals and other events. The tastings require local approval, as are the Sunday brunch sales. North Carolina first allowed distillers to sell alcohol on premises in October 2015, but purchases were limited to one bottle per customer per year.

The 19 counties approving the bill include Wake, Durham, and Orange in the Triangle.

Council members P.J. Lofland and Chris Wrights voted against the ordinance, the Journal said.

“I don’t care if someone wants to drink, but I think we show so little deference to religion and churches that two hours is not too much to ask,” Lofland said.