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New Bern businesses prepare for first Sunday of brunch bill ordinance

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NEW BERN, Craven County - This Sunday will mark the first time alcohol will be sold in New Bern before noon. Many businesses say they are ready.

Gov. Roy Cooper officially signed the state brunch bill into law on June 30. It permitted the sale of alcohol on Sunday morning at 10 instead of noon. What Tom Ballance, the owner of Captain Ratty's, didn't know was each town and city had to approve its own ordinance. "Started looking over all over the internet seeing if I could find anything on it, and then I saw Chapel Hill and Carrboro holding a special meeting to approve drinking on Sunday," Ballance said. "So if I hadn't read that, I would have been selling illegal alcohol that next Sunday." Ballance and others didn't believe the bill would have to go through two attempts before it was passed in New Bern. The first attempt at passing the ordinance by New Bern aldermen on July 11 didn't even go to a vote. The ordinance was passed Tuesday. Some businesses such as MJ's Raw Bar & Grille will feature some of their specialty drinks on Sunday morning. Other locations such as Prohibition Drinks & Deserts will hold a party Sunday morning. "We are really excited," said Chris Straight, owner of Prohibition. "We are looking to celebrate this Sunday at 10 with popping bottles of champagne. It's our new privilege to serve before noon on Sundays, so we can't wait to celebrate with our customers."

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