Should Bars Be Allowed to be Open on Sundays?
State law now allows bars to be open on Sundays even if they don't sell food. St. Charles is considering changing its liquor laws to mimic state law.
Bars in St. Charles that don’t serve any food aren’t allowed to be open on Sundays under local and — until recently — under state law.
However, the Missouri Legislature in the spring amended the liquor control law to allow bars to apply for a $200 permit to sell alcohol on Sunday. In the past, only restaurant-bars that met minimum food sale requirements could be open on Sundays.
St. Charles City Council is considering amending local laws to mimic the state law, except for in the historic downtown district.
City staff members said they have received questions from several bar owners, wondering whether the city would change local laws. In September, Maryland Heights approved an amendment to its liquor laws to allow bars to be open on Sunday, regardless of whether they sell alcohol.
Councilman Mike Klinghammer, Ward-8, said continuing to ban bars from selling alcohol on Sundays will be a detriment to bar owners and business owners.
“This really does put us back to where we were as a country and state and city with the blue laws which have eroded over one lifetime,” he said. “It’s been a deterioration and movement away from Sunday being strictly the day of rest. Now it’s the biggest shopping day of the week.”
Councilwoman Bridge Ohmes, Ward-10, said she believes it should be up to business owners whether they would want to be open on Sundays.
“Especially with the economy the way it is, I think a lot of bars would be open on Sundays,” she said.
Council members agreed they would like to maintain the current prohibition of bars in the Historic Downtown District. Only restaurant-bars that meet minimum requirements for food sales are allowed to exist in that area, except for four bars which were grandfathered in.
Council members also said they'd like to make sure those ordinances are being enforced on North Main Street.