Landrum restaurants seek Sunday alcohol sales

Published 2:57 pm Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Registered voters in Landrum could be asked soon to sign a petition requesting a referendum to allow Sunday alcohol sales in Landrum restaurants.

Landrum City Council heard last week from Barbara Britt, a Landrum business owner and representative of the Landrum Area Chamber of Commerce, who requested that council place a referendum on November&squo;s ballot.

During a work session, council members suggested Britt circulate a petition instead to initiate a referendum, and Britt indicated she will pursue that option.

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

The petition would have to contain signatures from 10 percent of registered voters in Landrum, which would mean at least 250 signatures. The city could approve alcohol sales only in restaurants if voters pass a referendum. The referendum, if approved, would not apply to grocery stores or gas stations for off-premise alcohol sales.

&dquo;I don&squo;t know if you are aware, but businesses in Landrum are hurting,&dquo; Britt told council last Tuesday. &dquo;Give us a chance.&dquo;

Britt said Landrum restaurants are losing business to towns such as Tryon and Saluda because people can have dinner there with alcohol. She said she&squo;s had to turn down two weddings at the Country Mouse Inn, one of a few businesses Britt owns in Landrum, because the parties couldn&squo;t have alcohol on Sunday.

Britt also said that city council keeps saying they want to support businesses, but members are not doing anything to help them.

Council member Randy Wohnig said he disagreed that council doesn&squo;t support Landrum businesses and suggested Britt start a petition in case council couldn&squo;t come to an agreement on the issue.

During the regular meeting, Mayor Bob Briggs called for a motion to consider placing alcohol sales on the ballot, and no council member made a motion.

There are a few ways to get a referendum on the ballot: city council can pass two readings of a request for one, or residents can request a referendum via petition. Landrum city officials are checking on the exact requirements, but say they think the petition would have to be filed within 90 days of the November election.