Weirton May Be Next To Jump on ‘Brunch Bill’ Bandwagon
WEIRTON — City Council took its first step Monday to enact a proposed “brunch bill,” which would allow the service of alcohol at select businesses beginning at 10 a.m. on Sundays.
Council approved, by a 6-0 vote, the first reading of an ordinance authorizing the city to apply with the state’s Municipal Home Rule Board a proposal which would allow those businesses within the city holding a Class A license with the Alcohol Beverage Control Administration to serve alcohol earlier than the current 1 p.m. starting time.
Council must hold a public hearing on the issue prior to holding a second reading of the ordinance. Both are scheduled to take place during council’s Feb. 11 meeting.
No comments were offered by council or other city officials Monday; however, some from the business community were in attendance to express their support.
Dewey Guida, owner of Dee-Jay’s BBQ Ribs and Grille, noted his 52 years in Weirton and the amount of growth and change he has witnessed. He said enacting a brunch bill will assist in furthering those growth efforts.
“It’s about image. It’s about growing. It’s about antiquated blue laws,” Guida said.
Guida pointed to Ohio and Pennsylvania not having the same restrictions on the sale of alcohol, and that making these adjustments through the Home Rule program could benefit Weirton by drawing more people to the city’s businesses.
“We are changing with the times,” he said. “We are now becoming the hub of the valley.”
Brenda Mull, president of the Weirton Area Chamber of Commerce, said the measure will be a benefit to Weirton businesses, providing opportunities to increase revenues and possibly create jobs.
She said it is important to give residents an option and an opportunity to support local businesses.
“Not everyone is going to turn out for a glass of wine or mimosa, but those who want to should be able to,” Mull said.
Dan Greathouse, executive director of the Top of West Virginia Convention and Visitors Bureau, also expressed the support of the CVB board, explaining several other cities in West Virginia — including Wheeling — have taken similar measures and there is discussion of the state allowing county referendums to lift the regulation.
“I thank you for taking it up,” Greathouse said.
If enacted, the ordinance would be limited to Class A license holders, which are establishments offering on-site consumption, such as restaurants, hotels, fraternal organizations and private clubs.