CONYERS -- The City Council fine-tuned its newly updated alcohol ordinance at a called meeting Tuesday, clarifying some language in the ordinance and easing up on some of the new restrictions.
A key change approved by the council at Tuesday's called meeting was to allow the sale of alcohol, including malt beverages, in a pitcher. As originally approved in December, the ordinance prohibited the sale of alcohol or malt beverages in any container that would hold more than 24 ounces. Conyers Chief Operating Officer David Spann said some restaurant owners had complained about the change after the fact, prompting the city to revisit the issue.
Spann said restaurant owners were consulted before passing the ban on pitchers, but little opposition was heard. He said the city was concerned about pitcher sales because, in the case of at least one establishment, pitchers of mixed drinks were being sold to individual customers.
"Almost every one of (the restaurant owners consulted) said it won't bother me because I can make more money off one drink than I can make off a pitcher," said Spann.
After the law went into effect, however, more opposition was heard. Now the city's ordinance allows single serving sizes of malt beverages up to 32 ounces for one person and malt beverage pitcher sizes up to 64 ounces for two or more people.
The changes approved Tuesday also lifted the restriction on happy hour drink specials offered at certain times in a single day. Spann said the state restriction against selling alcohol for less than the establishment paid for it remains in force. The ordinance also states that no alcohol is to be given to patrons free of charge and that not more than one alcoholic beverage may be served to one person at a time, with the exception of a shot of alcohol served with a malt beverage.
Other changes approved to the ordinance in December allow patrons to have a beer and a shooter at the same time, permit the establishment of brewpubs that produce no more than 5,000 barrels of beer in a calendar year, and allow patrons to purchase malt beverages in growlers from retail outlets. In addition, more training is required for those serving alcohol and no servers are allowed to drink alcohol while serving it.