Friday, December 19, 2014
   
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Council tables decision to extend hours for alcohol sales

Business owners, residents speak for, against.

Stephanie Walker would like to begin selling alcohol at noon on Sunday at Walker’s Steakhouse & Lounge.

She is assistant manager at the restaurant/lounge which is owned by her father Steve Walker.

Jewel Johnson, co-owner of The Resting Place bed and breakfast, doesn’t want hours extended to businesses to sell alcohol.

Both women were part of a handful of residents who shared their opinions when Gothenburg City Council members met March 15.

At the meeting, the council considered passage—on second reading—of an ordinance that would increase the hours bars, restaurants and stores can sell alcohol.

The proposal would increase hours Monday through Thursday to 6 a.m.-1 a.m. (see box for current hours).

Sunday hours would expand to noon to 10 p.m. instead of 4-10 p.m.

In addition, instead of different hours for the three types of businesses—restaurants, bars and stores—that sell alcohol, the council wants businesses to have the same hours.

Council members Jeff Kennedy, Jeff Whiting and Gary Fritch tabled action until the full council, including Tim Strauser, and Mayor Joyce Hudson were present.

“It’s a sensitive issue,” Kennedy said. “We need all five here.”

Steve Walker said he hopes the council changes Sunday hours to match those of downtown bars that can sell alcohol from noon to 6 p.m.

He pointed to a recent pool tournament on Sunday when players were upset because they couldn’t buy beer at noon.

Stephanie said Walker’s main business is selling food. The bar is secondary.

“We don’t pull in a bar crowd like the downtown bars,” she said, noting that they also would like to accommodate pool players on Sunday and other days of the week with extended hours.

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