Sunday alcohol sales are about a lot more than a bottle of beer or a sip of your favorite shiraz. They're making a real impact on North Augusta's economy.
“It was a tremendous deal, you could see the sales coming back that we lost the year before,” says Chris Key, a sales representative for Budweiser. He says North Augusta sales dried up when Augusta approved Sunday sales and North Augusta stayed dry.
Everyone from suppliers to servers are seeing the difference.
“We just stay packed on Saturdays and Sundays now too, and we sell a lot of champagne, mimosas, and bellinis,” says Karen Smith of Manuel's Bread Cafe.
This is also a big deal for the people filling those restaurant seats: They now have somewhere to go on a Sunday.
“W ewere just astounded there was nothing open on Sundays,” says Tom Dent who moved to North Augusta. “The pizza places and hamburger places were open, but you couldn't go out and have a nice sit down dinner.”
Now business can pour in.
“We didn't serve dinner before and now that we've got alcohol sales we started doing dinner and it has been great for business,” says Smith. “We stay booked with reservations”
And next weekend, Master's, places are booked up or you can just buy beer in town.
“People who are staying in North Augusta, they're going to buy it in North Augusta because you want your beer ice cold, and we got it in North Augusta,” says Key.
For the other 51 weeks of the year, this is big for business for locals. The city is already attracting more interest from restaurants that wouldn't have happened. Alcohol sales can make up more than 40 percent of total revenue, so that day makes a difference.
“When you're trying to recruit a restaurant to your town, if you're taking away one of the biggest days for revenue producer, it hurts them,” says North Augusta City Manager Todd Glover.