SARASOTA -- If you want to order a bloody mary or mimosa at brunch this Sunday, you will now be able to do so in Sarasota.
On Monday, the Sarasota City Commission officially repealed its last blue law by adopting a new ordinance, allowing alcohol to now be sold in the city from 7 a.m. to 2:30 a.m. Monday through Sunday, effective immediately. Alcohol sales were previously banned until noon Sundays.
This change aligns the city ordinance with the county law. In early November, the Sarasota County Commission lifted the county ban on Sunday alcohol sales in unincorporated portions of the county, allowing customers to buy alcohol at a store or restaurant as early as 7 a.m. Sunday.
In Manatee County, there are no Sunday restrictions.
On Dec. 1, Sarasota city commissioners unanimously approved changing the hours of alcohol sales in the city, but in order to change the ordinance, a second hearing, which was Monday, was required. The commissioners unanimously approved the adoption without any discussion.
David Sysak, a team leader at Whole Foods Market in Sarasota, called the change "positive." In the past, the staff at the store, 1451 First St., placed signs on alcohol displays in the store Sunday mornings to let customers know they couldn't buy beer and wine until noon.
"We will see some sales increase on Sundays," Sysak said Monday afternoon.
The change will have a positive impact on tourism in the county, said Lynn Hobeck Bates, spokeswoman for Visit Sarasota County.
"I think it's great because it brings consistency to the tourists," she said. "Most tourists don't know the county and city limits. ... It will also encourage more restaurants to serve Sunday brunch which is good for both tourists and locals alike."
Claire Aronson, University Parkway/Sarasota reporter, can be reached at 941-745-7024 or at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Twitter @Claire_Aronson.