Town of Atlantic Beach unanimously votes to allow bars to sell alcohol off-premises

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ATLANTIC BEACH, N.C. (WNCT) – A Crystal Coast town is giving its bars and clubs a way to start serving alcohol.

The decision comes as state lawmakers want to do the same thing across North Carolina.

The town of Atlantic Beach voted unanimously Thursday afternoon in a special council meeting to allow bars and nightclubs to serve alcohol outdoors.

Businesses would have to mark outdoor areas on their premises with no more than 25 people in those places.

City leaders are requiring bars to set up their temporary space within 100 feet of their establishment. One person recommended the bar set up in parking lots with approval from the landlord.

Open containers would not be allowed outside of the designated areas.

Businesses would be able to do this between noon and 9 p.m. Town Mayor Trace Cooper said 9 p.m. was ideal seeing that many businesses in the area close around that time.

Cooper said the idea would provide an economic relief and generate a little more business during the pandemic.

The town’s decision comes as the statehouse is considering a senate measure to allow all North Carolina bars to serve outdoors.

Governor Roy Cooper’s current orders do not allow bars to reopen. The governor could veto the senate measure.

Cooper said serving alcohol off-premises would continue until bars could re-open.

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