'Brunch Bill' could mean more business for Georgia restaurants

Senate Bill 17 would allow restaurants to serve alcohol at 11 a.m.

File photo
File photo

ST. MARYS, Ga. – A proposed bill moving through the Georgia Senate would allow restaurants in the state to sell alcohol on Sunday mornings. 

Currently, restaurants are not allowed to serve alcohol before 12:30 p.m. on Sundays. Senate Bill 17 would bump the legal serving time to 11 a.m.

News4Jax spoke with people in St. Marys about what the changes in the proposed “Brunch Bill,” or “Mimosa Mandate” would mean for them. 

“This is a small town, so there’s not really a lot to do other than go drink mimosas and do brunch,” said Carlisle Loveland, who lives near St. Marys. “So it would definitely be a good thing.”

It was a quiet Sunday morning at Seagles Restaurant and Saloon at the Riverview Hotel when owner Jerry Brandon spoke with News4Jax. The restaurant currently opens at 4 p.m., but not long ago, served breakfast seven days a week. If Senate Bill 17 is passed into law, breakfast could make its return to his menu.

“That would help. It may make us decide to open on Sunday and weekends for brunch and get a crowd in here,” Brandon said. 

The extra 90 minutes that would be afforded by the new law’s passage could make all the difference when it comes to business on the weekends. 

“(I) would definitely wake up for brunches if people had it open,” Loveland said. 

“A lot of people go across the river because they can do that and they can’t get a mimosa or bloody Mary around here until 12:30, but that would help a lot and it would be good for the economy of St. Marys,” Brandon said. 

If Georgia lawmakers pass the bill, it would be up to county and city governments to approve a referendum to make the change official in their respective areas. 

About the Author: