Hartsville votes yes to referendum allowing alcohol sales on Sunday

HARTSVILLE, SC (WBTW) – Tuesday voters in Hartsville voted to change a law barring grocery stores and bars from serving beer or wine on Sundays.

Results show that 74 percent voted to approve the change, while 26 percent voted against changing the law.

It was an even happier happy hour Wednesday night at J. Michael’s Bar and Restaurant in Hartsville.

The voter’s approval is a good thing for bars and restaurants in the city limits, many of which don’t even bother opening on Sundays because of the alcohol sales laws.

Hartsville attorney Alex Stanton said he’s glad the referendum passed.

“It just gives an opportunity for the restaurants and some of the other establishments that serve food to end up having the opportunity to provide alcohol, which you can get in a lot of other places,” said Stanton.

“We felt pretty positive going into election day,” said Casey Copeland of the Hartsville Hospitality Council that pushed for the change said he’s not surprised the measure passed, but by how much.

“I felt like it would pass,” said Copeland. “But I didn’t know it would pass with that kind of a margin especially in a smaller town. We have a diverse population, so ya never know.”

The referendum does not apply to liquor stores, which will still be prohibited from selling liquor on Sundays.

City Council passed an ordinance back in March to put the question in the hands of the voters.

Members of the Hartsville Hospitality Council hope the new law would keep people in Hartsville who might otherwise leave and go to places like Florence where Sunday alcohol sales are legal.

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