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Surf City, Atlantic Beach approve 10 a.m. Sunday alcohol sales

The Tackle Box in Atlantic Beach (Nicole Griffin/NewsChannel 12)

ATLANTIC BEACH, Carteret County - The Town of Atlantic Beach met Thursday morning, approving a measure to allow sales of alcohol two hours earlier on Sunday.

The move comes after Gov. Roy Cooper signed into law a bill that ended the Sunday morning prohibition of alcohol sales for restaurants and relaxed restrictions on sales at breweries. Previously, alcohol could not be sold in restaurants statewide before noon.

Carrboro was the first town to act one the bill was signed into law, meeting in special session on Monday to allow for earlier alcohol sales in their town. While the new law permits the earlier sale of alcohol on Sundays, it remains up to individual counties and municipalities to change the law for their area.

In Atlantic Beach, that time will be 10 a.m. where alcohol sales can begin on Sundays. Surf City's council voted on Wednesday to set the same 10 a.m. time in their city limits.

"We're a resort community and this is the time of year that our businesses really thrive and we think the state was wise to start modernizing our liquor laws a little bit," said Trace Cooper, Mayor of Atlantic Beach.

In both cases, the change in law will take effect in time for sales this Sunday. The Tackle Box in Atlantic Beach is already planning to shift their hours for this weekend to accommodate the change.

"Well, it will boost sales number one," said Melinda Woodward, a cashier at Island Cove Shell. "It will be a little bit easier, those who come out earlier maybe to go fishing, boating, they'll be able to get their alcohol a little bit sooner."

The noon prohibition on alcohol sales remain in effect for liquor stores, though grocery stores and other retailers are allowed to begin the earlier alcohol sales unless local stipulations state otherwise.

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