Lexington moves forward to expand Sunday alcohol sales

Bars and restaurants in Lexington could soon be able to sell alcoholic beverages earlier on Sundays.
Published: Nov. 14, 2023 at 6:03 PM EST
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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - Bars and restaurants in Lexington could soon be able to sell alcoholic beverages earlier on Sundays.

Councilmember Dave Sevigny presented a proposal to the Social Services and Public Safety Committee on Tuesday that would alter the current ordinance.

At present time, alcoholic drinks cannot be sold before 11 a.m. on Sundays.

Monday through Saturday, those sales can begin at 6 a.m. He would like to make a consistent 6 a.m. each day across the board and treat all days the same.

“For me, it’s an economic development issue,” said Dave Sevigny, councilmember. “Lexington is a tourist destination and has a signature industry that includes bourbon. Weekends are the biggest draw. Saturdays and Sundays are the biggest days for capturing tourist dollars.”

He says one business told him, if the hours were expanded, they could generate an estimated half a million dollars per year more.

On top of economic development, he says it’s also about fairness for all.

“It’s mostly night employees that get off at hospitals about 6 a.m.,” said Sevigny. “A variety of people who like to have breakfast with their friends each day of the week, they threat that as their happy hour.”

Sevigny presented data about alcohol related incidents in the city.

“Most of our issues are late at night and early in the morning,” he said. “Our least issues are between 6 and 11 on any day.”

Pre-packaged alcoholic beverages cannot be sold before 1 p.m. on Sundays.

Some council members voted to amend the ordinance to exclude pre-packaged drinks. They would remain at 1 p.m.

“I don’t know that there’s any hurry, maybe there is on your part councilmember related to maybe the Christmas holidays and things of that nature, I just don’t see the need for this,” said James Brown, councilmember-at-large. ”For us to maybe dishonor Sunday in this way. Sunday is still a special day to me and to a lot of people in Lexington. I’d like to get a little bit more input from the community.”

The amended measure will move on to the full council.

The public will have an opportunity to comment at future meetings.

It could receive a vote as early as December.