For years, a prohibition on alcohol sales have been in place. Destin’s ordinance limits alcohol purchases on Sunday. But, a new proposal is being made.
Grocery stores, liquor store, and convenient stores aren’t allowed to sell packaged alcohol before 1 P.M. on Sunday. But, some Destin Council members say it’s time for a change.
“But, you can on Fridays and Saturdays and every other day of the week and. So, it’s an old outdated “Blue Law” that we are looking to get rid of to be more business friendly,” explained Chatham Morgan, Destin City Councilman.
Business owners say it would have a positive impact on the Destin economy. Currently, they say it’s depriving stores, like Beach Liquors, more than four hours of revenue, 52 days a year.
“Our store opens every day at 8:30 A.M., except for Sunday, where we don’t open until 1:00 P.M.,” said Bryan Rust, Beach Liquors Manager.
And, they say they feel like they lose revenue on Sundays due to the restriction because it send customers to neighboring towns that don’t have this rule.
“My stores in the City of Fort Walton Beach open early on Sundays and yes, we do more business,” explained Cash Moore, owner of Cash’s Liquor.
Moore has more than a dozen liquor stores across the Panhandle but, he says his Destin location remains closed on Sundays. He said, if there is a change he would open his store in Destin seven days a week.
“Sunday, being one of the busiest days in tourist season, turn over day is Saturday. So, the first day that everyone is here on vacation is Sunday,” said Rust.
In a statement to News 13, Councilman Parker Destin said, “The rule is a very old compromise from an even older “Blue Law” rule, that no alcohol sale would occur on Sundays in Okaloosa County…”
But, Destin says, times have changed.
“It’s been proven to be ineffective and it’s just, it’s just unnecessary. If you know, a group of folks want to go fishing on Sunday and they want to buy beer before their fishing trip, I think they should be able to. Regardless of the day of the week,” said Councilman Morgan.
The Destin City Council is expected to have it’s first reading of the proposed ordinance at the meeting on January 16. Destin residents could see a change to this ordinance in early February.