Sunday sales deal spurs request

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Finish Line Cafe is poised for the same chance Limelite Cafe got -- six months to get food sales up, with alcohol on Sundays in the meantime.

The Augusta Commission's Public Services committee voted unanimously Wednesday to let the Wrightsboro Road cafe have a probationary Sunday alcohol license, which means the request goes to the full commission Feb. 3 as part of the consent agenda.

If affirmed, the treatment will signify a change in how the city handles businesses whose food revenues drop below 50 percent -- the minimum under state law to be considered a restaurant and be permitted to serve alcohol seven days a week.

When an audit in May found that only 35 percent of Finish Line's revenues came from food, owner Robert Prescott III surrendered his license.

"The way I understood it, I didn't have any other alternative," he told commissioners.

As a bar, he lost family business because he can't let anyone under 21 in, and his NASCAR motif became hollow because most races are on Sundays. Mr. Prescott estimated he has lost $30,000 in sales. Then he found out about Limelite.

On Jan. 12, the Public Services committee split 2-2 when the cafe on Agerton Lane asked commissioners to overrule Licence and Inspection Director Rob Sherman and allow it to serve on Sundays while it worked to increase food revenues, which were only 23 percent. Before the issue got to the full commission, Limelite attorney Ben Allen persuaded seven commissioners to sign a letter authorizing a probationary license, bucking the state's open meetings law.

Commissioner Jerry Brigham told Mr. Prescott not to sell on Sundays until he's issued a license and said that because the committee is only a recommending body he has to wait until the full commission votes on it.

Reach Johnny Edwards at (706) 823-3225 or johnny.edwards@augustachronicle.com.

IN OTHER ACTION

Also on Wednesday, the Public Services Committee:

- Voted 3-1 (Mr. Brigham, Joe Jackson and Corey Johnson for, Calvin Holland against) to recommend denial of a beer and wine license to Super C Restaurant on Tobacco Road. Charles "Super C" Cummings lost his business and alcohol license after 18-year-old Stedmund Fryer was shot to death on the dance floor there in July 2007. Mr. Cummings has to wait 10 years before applying for another alcohol license, but the application is in the name of his wife, Teresa.

- Split 2-2 (Mr. Brigham and Mr. Jackson for, Mr. Johnson and Mr. Holland against) on a set of ordinances allowing the commission to regulate teen social clubs similar to the way they regulate alcohol-selling businesses. Teen club proprietors don't have to go before the board before opening.

Comments (20) Add comment
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Riverman1
79152
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Riverman1 01/29/09 - 05:41 am
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If y’all let The Finish Line

If y’all let The Finish Line open on Sundays, I’ll by y’all a beer, plus a hamburger or something to keep it legal. That’s assuming the girl behind the bar will fire up the grill for us and that’s not a given. I’m the guy sitting half-way down the bar between the old folks on the near end by the door with Fox on their TV and the young ones on the other end with the sports TV. I serve as a translator often. When the girls from the beauty school next door come by, I move all the way down with the younger crowd and only cast guilty glances at my older pals. When what’s-her-name gets a few shots from customers and decides to do her strip behind the bar, I kind of move up and down the bar wherever she goes. If anyone wants to debate politics, sports, tell jokes or watch me explaining the meaning of life come on by and I’ll try long as I can get the words out. It is going to be funny to see everyone sitting there with an obligatory hamburger in front of them getting cold on Sundays. Yeah, let’s let them open. A good beer joint is a Southern cultural thing that needs to be nourished and protected. I’m serious as a cinder block painted pastel pink.

patriciathomas
42
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patriciathomas 01/29/09 - 06:18 am
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Is there no way Augusta can

Is there no way Augusta can by pass the silly "no alcohol sales on Sunday" law? Aiken did and South Carolina blue laws are WAY crazier than Georgia's.

wizzardx1
0
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wizzardx1 01/29/09 - 06:26 am
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Apparently, enough money got

Apparently, enough money got to the right people.

Brad Owens
4098
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Brad Owens 01/29/09 - 07:02 am
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wizzarddx1, yeah, it's called

wizzarddx1, yeah, it's called tax revenues that are generated to pay for all things in the county from likker sales. They have always tried to balance the budget on the backs of alcohol licences (so-called 'sin' tax) and they are killing the goose that laid the golden egg. NO, I don't think there was any 'money' going to the 'right' people unless you mean tax dollars going to THE 'people' of the county. I have always wanted to sue the State of Georgia and get this idiotic no Sunday sales laws throw out for showing prefence to Christians. What century is this? The God Squad needs to keep their 'faith' out of my bedroom, my bar, and my life. Most of them are just Tee-totalers in public ONLY and Hippocrites in reality.If I ever have money (so that mean never) I will sue and get this overturned. At some level reason and reality have to over ride idiotic self appointed morality police. You CANNOT legislate morality but by God they sure try to...RM1, does that invite include me? Because I would LOVE to meet you and get to know you outside these 'internets' as "the old folks on the near end by the door with Fox on their TV" would say.

pointstoponder
153
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pointstoponder 01/29/09 - 08:21 am
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Hate much Brad?

Hate much Brad?

joebowles
104
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joebowles 01/29/09 - 08:40 am
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I think that Brads point is

I think that Brads point is that America was founded to be a "free" nation. If so, why can't we drink beer in a bar on a Sunday? Yes I know the answer but seems a bit hypocritical considering the Republicans are the ones who want government out of our lives, yet we can't get this changed at the state level.

getalife
4
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getalife 01/29/09 - 08:57 am
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Riverman1, funny stuff, you

Riverman1, funny stuff, you should see if they would let you be the stand-up comedian.

AugustaVoter
2
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AugustaVoter 01/29/09 - 08:58 am
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In the Limelite case I think

In the Limelite case I think some under the table stuff happened, something shady. I am glad Robbie started pushing the issue. I hope others do the same. Lets bombard the commission with back door letters to get Sunday sales in all of the Sunday hang outs. That way when they start to deny licenses to others we can sue them just like XMart is doing. Corruption at its finest!

Little Lamb
43808
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Little Lamb 01/29/09 - 09:09 am
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They played tape recordings

They played tape recordings of this meeting on WGAC yesterday, and the committee meeting was a bit more raucous than the newspaper report lets on. Calvin Holland went on another of his famous "ya'll are out to get us" rants again. Holland is an embarrassment to the city.

Little Lamb
43808
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Little Lamb 01/29/09 - 09:10 am
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And while I'm at it, may I

And while I'm at it, may I say that I appreciate what Joe Bowles and Jerry Brigham are trying to do for the city.

Brad Owens
4098
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Brad Owens 01/29/09 - 10:34 am
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LL, Me too, they are voices

LL, Me too, they are voices of reason in a sea of fools.

joebowles
104
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joebowles 01/29/09 - 11:33 am
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I have never been to Finish

I have never been to Finish Line or Limelight, but after Riverman's comments, I must ask what day is the best to go for lunch?

Little Lamb
43808
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Little Lamb 01/29/09 - 12:11 pm
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I'd love to meet Riverman and

I'd love to meet Riverman and Mr. Bowles there sometime.

TakeAstand
13
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TakeAstand 01/29/09 - 12:53 pm
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The goverment kills me, they

The goverment kills me, they want to be a stickler for the rules and hurt the businesses by limiting thier sales for certain circumstances like certain food sales or a day of the week, but they could care less about the number of [filtered word] repeat offender drunk drivers they allow loose on the public!!!!! Ridiculous!!

sprintman
0
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sprintman 01/29/09 - 02:16 pm
0
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Jerry brigham is the disgrace

Jerry brigham is the disgrace to our community. Every big project that is going to make Augusta better to live. He is against every single one. What mid or big city doesn't have large projects that will cost millions in order for them to get built. He is too much of the establishment/old Augusta and needs to go. Joe bowles is okay i like him. But sometimes i feel he thinks he has to side with a certain somebody. He knows who im talking about.

disssman
6
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disssman 01/29/09 - 03:39 pm
0
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LL add me to the band wagon

LL add me to the band wagon also. I have seen nothing underhanded by either of these gentlemen. In fact they may just be the only true civic volunteers left on the commission. BTW some may not like what these guys say, but no one can deny that its probably the truth or the best path for the city.

Brad Owens
4098
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Brad Owens 01/29/09 - 06:33 pm
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Jerry Brigham is one of the

Jerry Brigham is one of the most honest and SMART men I have ever met. He knows Agusta and he knows the people. He is a middle class, small business owner and he ALWAYS puts the best interest of the community before ANYTHING else when it come to his service on the commission. I have known Joe since grade school, he is what we need more of on the commission.

pointstoponder
153
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pointstoponder 01/29/09 - 06:39 pm
0
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Joe, you can drink beer in

Joe, you can drink beer in the bar on Sunday, you just cannot buy it in a store. Personally, I think it's time to lose the prohibition hangover. But until a majority of the folks we the people elect are willing to act, it is what it is.

joebowles
104
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joebowles 01/29/09 - 07:11 pm
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Points, You can't drink beer

Points, You can't drink beer in a bar on Sunday. A restaraunt, yes a bar no.

joebowles
104
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joebowles 01/29/09 - 09:05 pm
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Brad, I agree again, Jerry is

Brad, I agree again, Jerry is nothing like sprintman described, you may not like him, but he is nothing but honest. I hope sprintman will tell me who I listen to. Other than my wife it's nobody.

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