Town of Hilliard may soon allow restaurants to sell liquor

Ordinance being considered after straw poll shows most voters favor change

By Ashley Spicer - Reporter, anchor, Roxy Tyler - Web producer

HILLIARD, Fla. - Restaurants in Hilliard may soon be able to sell alcohol if a new ordinance is passed. Currently, no one can buy liquor anywhere in the small Florida town at any time.

If the measure passes the Town Council, restaurants and private clubs can sell liquor, but customers will have to drink on the premises.

Last year, the measure failed to pass because the Town Council said they thought the public would not be for it. Then, last month, 60 percent of voters in the small Nassau County town said they supported liquor sales.

Chuck Keedy,  general manager of R&R Wings, thinks the public will have a big turnout to speak in favor of passing the ordinance the day the council votes on it.

"Years ago, when we came in here I was surprised. You couldn’t even sit at a bar, like even at a Waffle House bar," Keedy said. "They had to pass a special law so that you could even sit at that anything resembling a bar."

The American Legion, one of the private clubs that would be able to serve liquor under the new law, supports the ordinance. 

Resident Stephanie Eastburn is in favor of the ordinance.

"I think it could be really good for the town of Hilliard and bringing in revenue. If someone wants to get liquor, they’re going to get it, so why not bring the money to Hilliard?" Eastburn said.

Other residents who don't drink said it makes no difference to them if liquor is sold in Hilliard. Beer and wine can already be sold in the town except before 2 p.m. on Sundays.

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