Tuesday, March 06, 2001

Covington hearing to weigh new beer hours

Sunday restaurant service proposed for after 11 a.m.

By Cindy Schroeder
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        COVINGTON — Sports fans who want to drink a beer in a Covington restaurant or bar before attending a Reds or Bengals game on Sundays can have their say on the issue tonight. And those who don't want to change the rules can say their piece, too.

  What: Public hearing to discuss a possible extension of the hours of Sunday beer sales at Covington restaurants and bars
  When: 7 p.m. today
  Where: Covington City Commission chambers, Seventh Street and Madison Avenue.
        Covington City Commission has set a hearing for 7 p.m. tonight to hear whether the public thinks establishments with drink licenses should be able to sell beer as early as 11 a.m. on Sundays.

        Covington law now prohibits them from selling a brew before 1 p.m.

        For years, Covington restaurant owners have complained about losing business to Cincinnati bars and restaurants, which can serve beer as early as 5:30 a.m. on Sundays, Covington officials said. Covington's proposed change would not apply to sales of wine and mixed drinks, which are regulated by state law.

        Lee Kinzer, general manager of Willie's Sports Cafe near Covington's riverfront, said that Reds and Bengals fans have left Willie's with out ordering when they learn they can't buy a beer with their meal.

        “If people want a beer, they're going to go somewhere else where they can get it,” Mr. Kinzer said. “They're going to Cincinnati because it's just across the river.”

        Covington's mayor and four commissioners say they may be willing to consider the change, but they first want to hear what the public thinks.

        If Covington City Commission decides to change the hours that establishments with drink licenses can sell beer on Sundays, it will likely vote by the end of the month, Mayor Butch Callery said Monday.


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