(FOX 46 CHARLOTTE) – Some local distilleries saw a major boom in business on October 3, as it was the first Sunday they were legally allowed to sell liquor bottles in nearly 90 years.
House Bill 890, signed into law on Sept. 10 and effective Oct. 1, allows distilleries to sell bottles of liquor between noon and 9 p.m. on Sundays. It also allows people to order liquor from ABC stores online for in-store pickup. ABC stores are still closed on Sundays, people wanting to buy bottles will need to go to a local distillery.
As a bar and restaurant, Great Wagon Road Distilling Company says they typically do good business on Sundays, but this week was like none other. They were allowed to sell bottles for the first time.
“We’ve already hit what our typical numbers are for Sunday. We’ve already hit those by like two o’clock,” said manager Emily Simpson.
Simpson says Great Wagon Road will need to ensure proper staffing and supply on Sundays to keep up with the new demand, but she as well as other distillery workers are thrilled with the new law. She says the new law marks a new era in North Carolina, one that helps progress the state’s economic success and.
“It’s frustrating for customers when they come in and they try our spirits and then they want to take a bottle home and we have to say ‘no’,” she said.
The first bottle in the state was sold at Southern Distilling Company in Statesville to State Representative Tim Moffitt, who introduced the law.
“A lot of times when you’re a lawmaker, you don’t get to experience directly the benefit of your work,” said Rep. Moffitt.
Pete Barger is the owner of Southern Distilling Company and says he has been pushing for this new legislation for the better part of five years.
“I feel elated. I couldn’t sleep at all last night,” he said. “If we walk back 10 years ago to where we are today, there’s been a lot of changes, but I would say it’s working within the system that we have to make it better.”