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Athens Sen. Bill Cowsert Killed the ‘Brunch Bill’


As I write this, you’re probably finishing off your first Bloody Mary of the day on this glorious Sunday afternoon. You probably wish it was your third. But don’t expect to be able to get an earlier start anytime soon

House Bill 535, the “Brunch Bill,” has stalled out, killed by our very own Sen. Bill Cowsert (R-Athens), the AJC reports.

The bill would give local communities the option to allow restaurants to start serving alcohol at 10:30 a.m., rather than 12:30 p.m., on Sundays.

Restaurants argue that the bill would bolster their revenue—and that of state and local governments, to the tune of $11 million a year. It would also level the playing field. Currently alcohol can be sold before 12:30 p.m. on Sundays in government-owned buildings.

Passing the “Brunch Bill” was one of the Athens-Clarke County Commission’s official requests of state legislators. (Commissioner Allison Wright will be especially disappointed.)

Georgia lawmakers have been slowly chipping away at blue laws, first allowing sales in restaurants, then at stores, but never before 12:30 p.m. Moving up that time is a bridge too far, Cowsert, the Senate Majority Leader and third-highest-ranking member of the chamber, told the AJC.

“We have some obligation to respect that majority of the population,” Cowsert said of churchgoers. “That’s a very small sacrifice for the millennial: On one of the seven days of the week, to not be able to start drinking until 12:30 p.m.—at least not in a restaurant. They’re certainly free to make a Mimosa at home if they’d like to.”