North Dakotans may soon be able to wet their whistle two hours earlier on Sundays.
The Legislature is moving ahead with a bill that would let bars, restaurants and off-sales start selling alcohol at 10 a.m. on Sundays, instead of the current noon opening.
State, Republican Representative, Randy Boehning of Fargo says he introduced the bill at the request of some Fargo bar and restaurant owners.
Rep. Randy Boehning, (R) Fargo: "Around Fargo Sunday mornings at around 11 o'clock, restaurants are full and there's a lot (of people) that would probably like to have a glass of wine with the Sunday meal."
Grand Forks bar and off-sale owners I spoke with say they're not opposed to the legislation. However, some say they still wouldn't bother opening any earlier on Sunday anyway, since Sunday's are slow.
Pat Endres, El Roco Bottle Shop: "We see when we open at noon if you're here early doing work inside, you see people… they still don't know that Sunday is a day you're not open till noon. I suppose it would be some extra customers. They are out there."
While it could mean extra business for bar and restaurant owners, folks who don't drink or frequent bars say, there's no reason to start serving alcohol any earlier on Sundays.
Woman: "That's usually a Christian day for most people. I don't think you should have to drink on Sundays."
Man: "The have plenty of time to serve it at the time they're doing it now."
Woman: "Who wants to drink at ten in the morning?"
Woman: "Stay at twelve. Well, I think that's sufficient time for them to have their happy hour or whatever they have…. ha."
The bill to move bar openings to 10 a.m. on Sunday's did not face any opposition in a legislative committee meeting. It's expected the full House will vote on it later this week. If the bill passes the House the full Senate will consider it in March.
Here's a link to the proposed bill: