Smyrna City Council voted Monday to approve what City Administrator Eric Taylor called “the biggest overhaul we’ve had in our alcoholic beverage ordinance in quite some time.” Council approved several amendments to the city’s alcohol ordinance including one that allows for growler stores inside city limits.
Here's what the amendments permit:
- Allow for the sale of malt beverage growlers at a package store.
- Allow for the sale of wine by the glass at a package store for educational purposes.
- Permit restaurant patrons to remove an unfinished bottle of wine for consumption off the premises, also referred to as re-corking.
- Add a license for brewpubs.
- Allow for extended serving hours, namely bars and restaurants can stay open till 4 a.m. with the purchase of an extended hours permit and businesses are now permitted to sell alcohol on Thanksgiving and Christmas.*
- Adds language that conforms with state law allowing for tasting of distilled spirits at distilleries.
Council members unanimously voted in favor of all the amendments with the exception of extended serving hours. The amendment for extended hours passed 4-3 with Council Representatives Wade Lnenicka, Ward 6; Susan Wilkinson, Ward 5; and Charles “Corkey” Welch, Ward 4 voting in opposition.
Ward 2 Council Representative Andrea Blustein chairs the Alcoholic Beverage License Committee. She said Council was prompted to review its alcoholic beverage ordinances after several people interested in opening a growler store in Smyrna approached the city. A growler is a large glass container used to transport craft beer.
“Evidently there was a group that had asked about opening a growler store around this area,” she said. “That’s when we found out that we did not have an ordinance that would cover that.”
Smyrna’s Community Development Director Ken Suddreth said that Council used the opportunity to update other alcoholic beverage ordinances. Some of the amendments like the one concerning re-corking had recently passed at the state level, but needed local approval to take effect.
Blustein said the new ordinance gives Smyrna businesses an edge.
“I think for the existing businesses it gives them another avenue that they can use to attract clientele either growlers or maybe we’ll even get a brewpub to open up somewhere in the area because they are pretty popular,” she said.
What do you think about the overhaul? Where would you like to see a growler store? Tell us in the comments.
*Correction: Patch initially reported that the extended hours were until 2 a.m. on Sunday. The approved ordinance actually allows licensees to pour alcohol until 4 a.m. with the purchase of an extended hours pouring permit. A chart showing the changes has been attached to this story. Patch Local Editor Sydney Busby apologizes for confusion this may have caused.