Clay County voters lift alcohol restrictions

Legislation eliminates prohibition on alcohol sales before 2 p.m. on Sundays

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Dozens of restaurant owners in Clay County had reason to celebrate on election night when they learned voters passed an ordinance to throw out a law prohibiting the sale of alcohol before 2 p.m. on Sundays. 

Elaine Cassala, owner Whitey's Fish Camp in Fleming Island, told Channel 4 she and several other restaurant owners have traveled a long road to victory.

"We've been involved in this for two years and we're happy to see it over," said Cassala.

Now that the ordinance has passed, restaurants like Whitey's and the nearby Mellow Mushroom Island can serve alcohol anytime on Sunday.

The ordinance is a welcome relief to businesses eager to serve sports fans heading to bars and restaurants to watch games or anyone else thirsty for an alcoholic beverage on Sunday.

Cassala said the law was forcing some people looking for a drink to travel to establishments outside Clay.

"...Hopefully now we can keep these residents in Clay County and that tax money can go to Clay County," said Cassala.

Resident Sarah Slazar said she was happy the legislation passed.

"It only happened one time where I went to a restaurant on a Sunday at 1:30 p.m. and ordered a beer and couldn't get it. [I] looked around, [and] saw all the sodas on the bar," said Salazar.

Salazar said the limitation influenced her to pursue other options for Sunday brunch.

"In this day and age when you can go two miles away from where I was at to Jacksonville, I could've easily went and spent my money there," she said.