Shreveport council may change Sunday liquor laws - KSLA News 12 Shreveport, Louisiana News Weather & Sports

Shreveport council may change Sunday liquor laws

The new regulations would allow sales of hard liquor between 6 a.m. and 4 a.m. Monday through Sunday in Shreveport. (Source: KSLA News 12) The new regulations would allow sales of hard liquor between 6 a.m. and 4 a.m. Monday through Sunday in Shreveport. (Source: KSLA News 12)
SHREVEPORT, LA (KSLA) -

Shreveport liquor store and bar owners are watching a decision at City Council this week that could change when they can sell hard liquor.

City Council members met in a work session at 3 p.m. Monday and are scheduled to vote on the proposed liquor law changes Tuesday.

The proposal is the first piece of the city's effort to revise and update its alcohol laws. A more comprehensive effort is in the works.

Councilman Jeff Everson, who is a sponsor of the ordinance, says when the city was updating zoning codes with Unified Development Code, leaders decided to take a look at the city's alcohol policy.

"So what we've done is we've taken a look at Chapter 10 that governs our alcohol and said what are those things that are outdated? What are some of those things that aren't being done they way a lot of other communities do them and where can we make improvements?", said Everson.

According to the ordinance up for a vote this week, several businesses contacted the city requesting a change because the laws aren't evenly applied to everyone right now.

Currently:

  • Only restaurants can sell hard liquor on Sundays. 
  • Liquor stores open at 7 a.m. and close at midnight on Sunday and 2:30 a.m. during the week. 
  • Bars close at all different times, some at 2:30 a.m., 4 a.m .or 6:30 a.m.

The new regulations would allow sales of hard liquor between 6 a.m. and 4 a.m. Monday through Sunday. 

Everson says there's also been an amendment added that would allow downtown bars that are currently open until 6 a.m. to remain open until 6 a.m.

According to the fact sheet prepared by the city

  • This has created an unsafe “bar-hopping” situation in which some patrons keep moving from one location to the next according to the closing hours.
  • Prohibitions against Sunday sales are not evenly applied to all businesses in the city.
  • The proposal cleans up provisions that remained from the old Sunday blue laws.
  • The change would make the city more business friendly.
  • The proposal provides for less paperwork and restrictions for citizens and the city.
  • It gives additional hours for commerce to occur.
  • The proposal allows for increased profits for businesses.
  • And it means increased revenue for the city.

While some business owners are pushing for the changes, others think they are unnecessary.

Bernie Woods said his Lakeshore Liquor Beer & Wine is not open Sundays because he wants to reserve that day for church and family.

Saying six days and 16 hours a day should be enough for his business, Woods doesn't plan on changing his store hours if the proposal passes.

"I don't see that helps revenue or store owners like myself because you have the overhead of being open those extra hours. And I don't think you'll get that much increase in business being open say 12 to 4."

When asked if he would start opening his store on Sundays, Woods said, "I won't unless I'm forced to, meaning I'm losing too many customers because they are talking to me complaining that I'm not here for them. I do have a customer base." 

"A lot of the bar owners have expressed that they like the idea that the market will be able to dictate their hours. It's not necessarily that they all want to be open every Sunday or later hours, but they want to be able to plan for that if there is a special occasion or if there is a time when that does suit their business model," said Everson. 

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