JACKSONVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) — Bars across the state could soon be feeling the impacts of a decrease in regulations.
This comes after lawmakers voted to end private bar membership requirements in the state. All that’s left is for Governor Cooper to give his final approval of HB 768.
As it stands right now, private bar guests in North Carolina have to pay to get a membership card to enter. If this bill gets signed into law, private bars like Limelight in Jacksonville could have positive impacts on the industry.
Limelight Co-Owner Brock Goss said that if this bill becomes a law, it could make things easier for bar owners like himself in the state.
“I do think as a kind of a, you know, an extra benefit. This is going to help people when it comes to the administrative processes and being able to effectively get people in and out of their venues to be able to help them, you know, enjoy whatever attraction that they have for that night,” said Goss.
The vice president of the North Carolina Bar Owners’ Association, Jason Ruth, explained that some customers have privacy concerns when it comes to giving out their personal information.
“This is a very transitory state. Now we have a lot of people moving in from the Midwest, the Northeast, and even the West. They have no idea what this law is about. And quite honestly, as bar owners, it’s been very difficult to explain to them what the law is actually about,” said Ruth.
These current membership rules don’t apply to bars in the state that also serve food.
Ruth says the ultimate goal for the association and bills like HB 768 is to update prohibition-era NC liquor laws to be more modernized.
“I think there’s going to be some support to change some of these laws as, once again, we’re moving into the 21st century here, and it’s time for us to as a state become a little more progressive in the aspects of the way that we deal with liquor, sell liquor and distributed liquor,” said Ruth.