PENDER COUNTY, NC (WECT) - The Pender County Manager says commissioners are considering whether or not they want to hold a countywide vote that would have the power to change a decades old alcohol law.
Right now, businesses that are not restaurants, hotels or motels are only allowed to sell and serve wine by the glass, with a permit, not beer.
In order for the 1963 law to change, commissioners would have to vote to hold an election and then the change would have to be voted on during a countywide election. The owner of Topsail Beach's Quarter Moon, Lori Fisher, is hoping that will happen.
At night, her bookstore hosts live music or author readings. She has a permit to sell wine by the glass and in April got a permit to sell and serve beer. However, in July she received a call from ABC officers saying because of the county law, they would have to revoke her permit.
"I was shocked! It was devastating! I was upset because we have already invested money," said Fisher. She says she spent thousands on signs advertising the beer and the beer itself, which now can not be consumed in the store.
In addition to investment, she's worried she will lose customers, explaining that when she started selling beer, sales jumped up, but now she's scared those people will go elsewhere.
"When we had the beer permit to start, our sales just really jumped up," said Fisher. "That extra attraction really made a difference, so it would be quite painful to my business and I worry that we would lose many of my wine customers as well," explaining that many people came with friends and family because of the variety of options.
If the law is changed, it would apply to all businesses in the county.
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