Hartsville restaurant owners await result of alcohol sales vote


HARTSVILLE, SC (WBTW) – The city of Hartsville is taking a look at its alcohol laws heading into the November 8th election.

Several bar and restaurant owners in the city are hoping folks vote yes on a referendum regarding alcohol sales on Sunday.

Thomas Cassidy — like many bartenders in Hartsville — thinks the time has long-since passed to allow folks to drink a beer at restaurant on Sundays.

“Half of Hartsville wants somewhere to watch the football game or the race,” explained Cassidy.

That’s the goal of a new referendum on the November 8th ballot in Hartsville. City Council passed an ordinance back in March to put the question to voters.

Cassidy, who works at J. Michael’s Bar and Restuarant, said it’s time to change and put people at his bar on Sundays.

“It’s a silly law for us not to be able to be open on Sundays,” Cassidy said.  “Because this is a food establishment as well as a bar.”

“The biggest thing with the alcohol sales referendum is economic development, plain and simple,” said Casey Copeland.

Copeland, a member of the Hartsville Hospitality Council that pushed for the change, thinks the new law would keep people in Hartsville who might otherwise leave and go to places like Florence — where Sunday alcohol sales are legal.

Copeland also believes the change would keep younger people in the city and help Hartsville’s overall economy.

“It boosts our economy, helps hopefully add jobs, and supports our businesses here in Hartsville,” Copeland said.

Right now, no bar, restaurant, or grocery store in Hartsville can sell beer or wine on Sunday. The new law would allow many bars and restaurants to sell alcohol that right now do not even bother opening on Sunday.

City officials told News 13 that they aren’t taking a stand on the law, but rather allowing voters to decide for themselves.

Even if the referendum passes, it will not apply to liquor stores, which will still be prohibited from selling liquor on Sundays.

Only voters who live inside the city limits of Hartsville will be allowed to vote on the referendum.

Election day is Tuesday November 8th.

To learn more about the referendum, click here.