Originally created 11/06/02

Alcohol measure gets OK



AIKEN - Spirits were high Tuesday night for advocates of Sunday alcohol sales in Aiken after a referendum allowing it passed.

Aiken restaurant owners plan to start selling alcohol this Sunday, said Steve Hale, who worked with the group pushing the referendum.

The question passed with 67 percent of the vote. It needed more than 50 percent approval to pass.

The referendum was placed on the ballot after the Aiken Hospitality Group collected the signatures of more than 10 percent of the city's registered voters, or about 1,300 people.

The hospitality group is made up of restaurant and hotel owners who argued that Aiken was being passed over for other tourist destinations because the city didn't serve alcohol on Sundays.

They said the city also was missing out on in-town diners who enjoy a drink with dinner. With the referendum's passing, restaurants and hotels will soon be able to sell alcohol on Sundays.

Revenue from licenses for Sunday alcohol sales will go into city coffers dedicated to tourist-related projects.

Reach Josh Gelinas at (803)279-6895 or josh.gelinas@augustachronicle.com.