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Haverhill

April 4, 2013

Sunday morning spirits may flow

City mulls allowing alcohol at morning brunches

HAVERHILL — The days of waiting until noon to order a mimosa or bloody mary at Sunday brunch might soon be over.

The License Commission is reviewing a 2010 local-option state law that, if adopted, would allow restaurants with liquor licenses to start serving alcohol at 10 a.m. on Sunday.

Restaurants are prohibited from selling alcohol on Sunday until noon, unless their host community passes the local-option law. If the commission recommends passage at tonight’s meeting, the proposal would go to City Council for final approval.

The local-option law was originally proposed by Dave Andelman, creator of the “Phantom Gourmet,” a popular television show that critiques restaurants.

If the law is adopted by Haverhill, individual restaurants could then apply to the License Commission for the extended Sunday hours. The commission would decide requests on a case-by-case basis, Chairman Joseph Edwards said.

Edwards said the law was designed to give a boost to restaurants that serve brunch.

He said the commission is taking up the measure now at the request of The Barking Dog Ale House, a new downtown restaurant that opened several months ago on Washington Street.

The law allows any establishment with a liquor license, including bars, to be eligible to apply for extended Sunday hours, Edwards said. He said he would only support giving it to restaurants that serve brunch, however.

On days of the week other than Sunday, Haverhill restaurants with liquor licenses can serve alcohol from 8 a.m. to 1 a.m., or until 2 a.m. on Saturdays.

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