New law impetus: St. Patrick’s Day revelry

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Molly Malone’s Irish Pub in the Roebling Point District is one of the Covington restaurants that sought and received permission to sell alcohol on St. Patrick’s Day, March 17, earlier than 9 a.m. this year. 

Change allows alcohol earlier on Sundays, with permission

COVINGTON, Ky. - Credit (or blame) one of the world’s most popular saints.
 
A cyclical and coincidental calendar alignment has led to a new law allowing bars and restaurants in Covington to sell alcohol by the drink as early as 6 a.m. on Sundays during special events - but only with permission.
 
The City Commission voted 5-0 tonight to create a permanent exception to current alcohol laws for businesses who secure the necessary permits and licenses.
 
The discussion began when several Covington bars and restaurants wanted to serve alcohol with early-morning brunches on St. Patrick’s Day, which happens to fall on a Sunday this year, said City Solicitor Michael Bartlett, who is also Covington’s Alcoholic Beverage Control Administrator.
 
Existing laws banned the sale of alcohol by the drink before 9 a.m. on Sundays. But the City had previously granted single-event exceptions on two recent occasions: in 2016 when the Cincinnati Bengals played a football game in London, and in 2017 to allow a cheering section during the Flying Pig Marathon, Bartlett said.
 
Rather than require the Legal Department to go through the repeated process of securing City Commission approval every time such a request occurs (a process that takes a minimum of four weeks), the Commission voted to create a new exception in the City ordinance.
 
“This ordinance revision gives the City the ability to approve future requests without enacting legislation each time - yet still have safeguards in place - on those rare occasions when businesses or organizations want to serve alcohol for special events early on Sundays,” Bartlett said.
 
The applicants must, however, have secured:
  • A City Special Event Permit.
  • And the necessary alcohol-related Special Temporary Licenses from the City and State. 
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