Advisory group seeking election on expanding alcohol sales in Siler City

Posted 6/21/19

SILER CITY — With a goal of enhancing Siler City’s economic and cultural development, the Siler City Downtown Advisory Committee is exploring the possibility of widening the sale of malt …

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Advisory group seeking election on expanding alcohol sales in Siler City

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Posted

SILER CITY — With a goal of enhancing Siler City’s economic and cultural development, the Siler City Downtown Advisory Committee is exploring the possibility of widening the sale of malt beverages and table wine to include on-premise sales at breweries, brewpubs, tap rooms and special event venues.

Current ABC regulations in place in Siler City only allow for on-premise sales of malt beverages and table wine in restaurants, hotels and motels and prevents it at other locations.

Allowing expanded opportunity for sale of malt beverages and wine “will bring opportunity for countless new business and the expansion of existing business,” the Siler City Downtown Advisory Committee wrote in a June 12 letter to the town board. “We believe this is a significant, and a necessary first step to bringing Siler City into its next phase of progress.”

Current ABC regulations “are hindering access to a large and still-growing economic powerhouse — the Craft Beer Industry,” the committee further noted, adding that North Carolina is home to 312 breweries, 290 of which are “local, small businesses owned by folks in small towns and neighborhoods.”

Those breweries, which are a $2 billion/year business, the committee said, “are bringing jobs, community event spaces, and tourism opportunities to their communities.”

Committee member Tim Booras, managing owner of the CAM site, spoke to Siler City commissioners Monday, seeking the board’s help in putting the matter on the ballot for Siler City voters to decide.

Booras, a Greensboro native, said his hometown is home to a number of local breweries, which generate a lot of revenue and attract many customers.

“Young people migrate to those places,” Booras said. “Our vision is to allow that to happen in downtown Siler City.”

But, Booras said, ABC laws in place are “extremely circuitous” and the committee is seeking the town’s help in proceeding.

“We need counsel on how to move forward,” Booras said. “We’re essentially asking your permission to explore the possibility of what the ballot would look like.”

No one on the eight-member Siler City Board of Commissioners raised objection to the proposal and Booras promised to continue working on the matter and to “have something more concrete soon” to present to commissioners.

Next steps include a formal recommendation from the advisory board to the town board proposing an election be called; the town board would adopt a resolution calling for an election; and the town’s governing body would present a written request for an election to the Chatham County Board of Elections.

Randall Rigsbee can be reached at rigsbee@chathamnr.com.

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