Chesnee mayor wants to opt out of Sunday alcohol sales - FOX Carolina 21

Chesnee mayor wants to opt out of Sunday alcohol sales

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Some restaurant managers say Sunday alcohol sales could help business. (FOX Carolina/ Aug. 20, 2014) Some restaurant managers say Sunday alcohol sales could help business. (FOX Carolina/ Aug. 20, 2014)
CHESNEE, SC (FOX Carolina) -

Spartanburg County voters will have the chance to speak up about whether or not they want Sunday alcohol sales made legal, but the mayor of Chesnee wants his town out of the discussion.

The Spartanburg County Council passed the final reading of a referendum that will allow voters to weigh in on whether or not they want alcohol sold in restaurants on Sundays. 

Several restaurants across the area, including in Chesnee, are open on Sundays. And if you're looking for James Bolton, you may find him at New Century Chinese Restaurant in Chesnee.

"I come here quite often," Bolton said. "The cook here is good."

He said the food is hot, and there's cold beer in the cooler - except on Sundays.

"I think it's up to the individual as long as they're not out drinking and driving and they're having a meal and have a beer," Bolton said.

"I think in God's eyes you're not supposed to drink," Allen McGinn said.

He said according to the Bible, that's the way it should be.

"Sunday's not going to make no difference. If you're drinking, you're drinking. It's still wrong in the eyes of God," McGinn said.

State Rep. Doug Brannon said that's how the mayor of Chesnee and most city council members feel, too.

"It's a moral stance taken by Chesnee's city council," said Brannon, who represents District 38, which includes Chesnee.

Brannon said as an elected official, he took the mayor's concerns to Spartanburg County Council.

"All I ask is that they amend their referendum question to add an opt-out clause," Brannon said.

However, Spartanburg County Council Chairman Jeff Horton said state law won't allow an amendment.

"Again, this is a referendum. This is still to be decided by people," Horton said.

He said  the council chose from three referendums offered by state law: Restaurants only, restaurants and stores, and stores only.

Council members chose referendum option A, which would be restaurants only.

"In my opinion, this is not necessarily about drinking, but this is about economic development and helping our restaurants in our community," Horton said.

And if the referendum passes in November, some restaurant owners say it could pour more money and customers into Chesnee.

Hortons said if Chesnee City Council members or any other municipalities want to opt-out after the vote in November, they can petition the General Assembly in January if they want to change the law.

Related stories regarding Sunday alcohol sales in the Upstate:

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