FLORENCE, SC (WBTW) – The manager of a Florence County hotel wants the county to allow Sunday alcohol sales.
Right now, only restaurants in the City of Florence can sell alcohol on Sundays.
Every Sunday, the Edge Bar, which is attached to the America’s Best Value Inn hotel, must close at midnight on Saturday. The bar reopens Monday afternoon because the county does not allow Sunday alcohol sales.
Manager Wayne Funkhouser says America’s Best Value Inn is trying to revamp its image but more updates will need more money.
“This is a different property than it was a few years ago,” said Funkhouser. “If we could just get that money in here on Sunday it would make so much difference.”
Funkhouser estimates they lose between $30,000- $40,000 at the bar because they are not allowed to sell alcohol on Sunday.
“NFL, NASCAR, any event that happens on Sunday, we are not able to do,” said Funkhouser. “This year will be even worse because New Year’s Eve falls on Sunday. Our lights will be off. No one will be here on traditionally one of the largest nights that we have.”
It’s not just locals Funkhouser is losing out on; he says travelers along I-95 will leave when the bar is closed.
“This past Sunday, I was working and we had four guests that came in asked for the bar and when they found out it was closed they turned around and left,” admits Funkhouser.
He took the idea of selling alcohol on Sundays to Florence County Council on Thursday. County leaders say he has two options:
- Petition with 7,500 signatures of Florence County registered voters
- Approved vote by council to add a referendum to ballot to allow Sunday alcohol sales
County Council Chair Kent Caudle says he has to weigh the pros and cons of the proposal., and he’s not sure if council would approve to add the sale of alcohol on Sunday to a ballot.
“I’m a little torn about it,” said Caudle. “It’s not something I have to have. Yet I’m not against people who do. I think it would be split. I’m not sure if it would pass or not. I’ve never asked the question.”
Funkhouser says the money from the alcohol sales will help county restaurants and businesses.
“We’re not looking to step on anybody’s tradition. We’re just trying to make a living,” explained Funkhouser. “Not only does this support the county with tax money, this supports the state with tax money. It supports my family. It supports every employee here. If we were not able to continue our business, there would be a bunch of us in trouble.”
Next week Funkhouser plans to have a Sunday alcohol sales petition up in supporting restaurants and alcohol stores.
News13 will update this story when the petition is available.