Margaritas, Methodists separated now only by a Square
Church, meet your close neighbor, liquor by the glass.
Distance is no longer a factor in Fayetteville for those wanting to purchase alcohol at restaurants around Courthouse Square and in shopping centers in close proximity to churches. The City Council Aug. 19 approved the measure by unanimous vote.
The relaxed liquor rules means that margaritas and Methodists will be separated by only the old courthouse square. The city wants to encourage a liquor-by-the-drink restaurant within a shot-glass toss from the historic Fayetteville First United Methodist Church.
The council approved an amendment to the alcohol ordinance changing the distance requirement between shopping centers and commercial properties located on the Old Courthouse Square and churches. The ordinance previously stated that businesses serving alcohol must be at least 100 yards from a church.
“We have noticed a trend lately where temporary church facilities are locating in (shopping) centers thereby restricting the allowed use of those commercial centers by retailers of alcoholic beverages,” city staff said. “The proposed amendment would exempt businesses within (shopping) centers and commercial properties located on the Old Courthouse Square from the 100 yard distance limitation from church facilities.”
Previously, and as it applied to shopping centers and to the south and west sides of Old Courthouse Square, a business already located within 100 yards of a storefront that becomes occupied by a church would be grandfathered, but a business that wanted to move in where a church is already operating in an existing store front less than 100 yards away would not be allowed to do so.