HUNTSVILLE, Alabama – The Madison County Commission must change its alcohol laws to allow bars that sell alcohol to offer live music.
Presently, locations in unincorporated areas of the county that only sell beer are enabled to offer live music, DJs and dancing after 10 pm, but some commissioners believe thats hypocritical or is costing the county tax income.
The commission in 2011 had developed alcohol and wine policies to motivate more restaurants to locate in the county outside integrated areas. In order to sell liquor or wine, nevertheless, a location has to have at least HALF of its revenue connected to food sales. In addition, positions that sold liquor might not have live music or relevant home entertainment that could present a nuisance to residential areassuburbs.
District 1 Commissioner Roger Jones presented the subject on behalf of a constituent who wanted the music terms on alcohol eliminated. The conversation then branched off to discuss lost income, specifying days of the week when music is permitted and how enforceable is the law with a constables department already stretched thin.
District 3 Commissioner Eddie Sisk stated he would be in favor of enabling music at bars and restaurants that offered liquor however restrict them to Fridays and Saturdays up until 2 am
Theyre already doing it with beer and music, Sisk stated. Why not let them sell liquor and get the earnings. Exactly what were talking about is already there. Theyre selling beer. However were not getting any income off the liquor. Its pretty excellentrespectable profits. Twelve percent on every dollar. Thats 60 cents on a $5 drink.
County alcohol taxes currently are divided with schools and volunteer fire departments each getting 25 percent and the rest going to the general fund.
District 4 Commissioner Phil Vandiver was more careful. He stated he wants assistance responsible companies, but he is worried about ways to manage proprietors who are non-compliant with their late night sound levels. There are bars that already infringe on homeowners quality of life, he stated, and some safeguards should be preserved.
I don’t desire us to take a step backward, Vandiver stated.
Billy and Wendy Butler, owners of Billys Bar amp; Grill in Hazel Green, which only sells beer, raised other issues.
Wendy Butler stated their bar has a complete kitchen and serves a great deal of food, but its not HALF of their business. She said most weekend clients exist to pay attention to live music and not eat. She then cautioned that some bars could incorrectly claim to be restaurants to offer alcohol.
Whos going to patrol whos a bar and whos a dining establishment, she asked.
Billy Butler asked if the 50-percent food sales policy for dining establishments uses to every day, or is it OK for a bar to have weekends be mainly alcohol sales however make up for the food during the week.
Its not fairunfair that clients can go to a restaurant and invest more money on alcohol and then concern his bar to listen to music and hes just have the ability to sell less lucrative beer, he said.
The commission did not have a proposal on the program on which to vote. The problem was introduced only for conversation.
Jones said he would bring the concern up for a vote at an upcoming meeting if there was a consensus to get rid of the music terms on liquor sales. He added its likewise a chance for other commissioner to make modifications to the alcohol regulations.