Happy Mother’s Day!
Today marks the one-year anniversary of select Sunday alcohol sales in Oxford. The Oxford Eagle recently ran an article summarizing how the Sundays have affected restaurant sales, crime and more. Check out the full article below.
Sunday Alcohol Sales Concludes First Year
BY Melanie Addington
Mother’s Day is here again, which means Oxford has reached the first anniversary of its law allowing Sunday alcohol sales on select holidays and game-day weekends.
During this first year, little has changed — except, possibly, a few more tax dollars in city coffers. While crime has not gone up, tax collections have. Sunday sales of alcohol may be one reason why the local food and beverage tax is up 14 percent this year. “We have not had any major law enforcement problems created by Sunday sales,” Oxford Police Chief Mike Martin said this week. “It seems to be a calm crowd on Sundays.”
But Alderman-at-large John Morgan said Sunday sales may be playing a part in an increase in the food and beverage tax. “I don’t know if you can attribute it to Sunday sales, but it appears that we are up 14 percent year-to-date on the food and beverage tax,” Morgan said. “That’s a significant amount, if you ask me.”
Some places on the Square will remain closed this Sunday, such as City Grocery and Ajax, while others are planning specials for Mother’s Day, such as Roosters, which will be offering $6 martinis and staying open later than usual on a Sunday. “We normally close at 3:30, but we will stay open as late as they let us,” owner Scott Michael said.
Other restaurants which typically are open without alcohol sales on Sunday like the uptick in sales. Chili’s on West Jackson Avenue has enjoyed the extra sales days and noticed a positive impact. “Absolutely, it definitely has made an impact,” manager Jennifer Smith said. “We haven’t sold as much as you might think, though. I am not sure a lot of people are aware.”
Smith said Chili’s has 2-for-1 specials every day they can sell alcohol and this Sunday is no exception. Hours for alcohol sales Sunday are 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.
The measure allowing Sunday alcohol sales was approved in 2011 by the Oxford Board of Aldermen and then the state approved the local measure. The law allows local restaurants to serve alcohol on Mother’s Day, Father’s Day and home football weekends. Valentine’s Day is also a special exception when it falls on Sundays.
Additional info from follow-up article 5/14: Mayor Pat Patterson was against the Sunday alcohol sales, and while he admits it may have increased some tax revenue, he has no intention of increasing sales to all Sundays or increasing bar hours. “The board and I agreed on a compromise and I’m not in the least bit interested in changing it,” Patterson said. “I’m not in favor of extending alcohol sales on Sunday or extending bar sales under any circumstances.”