DEREK AMAYA, For Tech Talk
The city of Ruston can enjoy alcohol all weekend after the City Council voted to lift a ban that allows restaurants to serve alcohol on Sunday.
In a 3-2 vote, the ban was lifted to help economic development within city limits, supporters said.
Those in favor of the ordinance believe it will increase Ruston’s economy and bring a change of atmosphere to restaurants.
Opponents of the ordinance believe some local businesses only support the ordinance because it will put more money in restaurant owners’ pockets.
However, they say this benefit is minimized when compared to the potential increase in crime.
Mayor Dan Hollingsworth said the council believes this ordinance could enhance economic development in the community, growth in local businesses and provide citizens with broader choices of restaurants on Sundays.
“Proponents of this indicate to me that it’s going to make them more competitive with restaurants in surrounding communities that have this particular statute,” Hollingsworth said. “The council said it would enhance the opportunity of economic development, grow their business, create potential for new jobs, provide local citizens with other choices and enable them to be more competitive.”
Bert Davis, general manager of Dawg House Sports Grill, said the ordinance would have a positive impact on Ruston and keep potential customers in Ruston on Sundays.
“I believe it will encourage people to stay in Ruston who are going out to eat on a Sunday evening or afternoon,” he said.
Davis said Dawg House tried being open for business on Sundays, but it was not financially beneficial.
“From the feedback I’m getting from town, this will be beneficial, particularly during football season,” he said.
Although Davis said he believes this will positively benefit the community, some disagree.
Scott Hunter, a sophomore architecture major, said he believes the ordinance might take away the relevance of what many consider the holy day and could prevent students from being prepared for classes on Mondays.
“I agree with it to a point, because if you’re going to ban alcohol on Sunday, you’re just going to buy it on Saturday,” he said. “Once you start getting people in power, you start to lose focus on what really matters. It’s losing the sense of reverence towards Sunday and keeping it a holy day.”
Other students like Natalie Kordal, a senior political science major, said the ordinance could help businesses in Ruston.
“I agree with it,” she said. “Not for the drinking aspect, but more for the revenue it will bring in,” she said.
Kordal said many of corporate restaurants like Chili’s Grill and Bar and Applebee’s Neighborhood Grill and Bar, are accustomed to selling alcohol on Sundays because they are so popular, and the ordinance could bring in more corporate businesses.
“A bunch of sports games are on Sundays, so a lot of people will go out, drink and bring in a lot more money for Ruston,” she said..
Although many critics believe selling alcohol on Sunday will raise crime rates, specifically driving while intoxicated, Hollingsworth said there was a reduction of people who drive while intoxicated after the legalization of alcohol.
“All of us hate to see the expansion of it, but we realize we live in a country where we don’t always get the choice you want,” he said. “I don’t think it’s going to change the lives of those who really believe it’s not the right thing to do. Everything we do has some sort of impact.
[Source: Tech Talk]