Martinsburg is one step closer to passing brunch bill

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Martinsburg is now one step closer to approving two ordinances: one that would eliminate a 300-foot barrier between businesses that sell alcohol and churches, and one that would allow alcohol to be served earlier on Sundays, also known as the Brunch Bill.

In Shepherdstown, the ordinance allowing alcohol to be sold at 10 a.m. on Sundays was passed not too long ago.

Martinsburg resident, David Welch was at The Press Room in Shepherdstown on the first Sunday they were allowed to serve alcohol during brunch.

“It was great,” Welch said. “I mean, they had a line there ready to go around 10 o’clock in the morning and it was very festive and it was a lot of fun.”

Council Member and owner of Boyd’s Steakhouse, H.D. Boyd, says by following in Shepherdstown’s footsteps, his business would be more successful on slower days like Sunday.

“I think it could help me tremendously,” Boyd said. “People want to come out on Sundays and have a drink with breakfast… a mimosa or bloody Mary, but they can’t.”

This keeps traffic through Boyd’s Steakhouse pretty slow during brunch on Sundays.

Boyd believes that by serving alcohol at 10 a.m. on Sundays, more people will come to brunch.

That means he’ll have to add a few more staff members to the schedule Sundays.

The second ordinance Martinsburg is working on is between restaurants that serve alcohol and churches.

As of right now, alcohol is not allowed to be sold within 300-feet of a church.

However, according to Boyd, since there’s a church almost every 100-feet downtown, it’s hard for businesses to open.

“It’s tough to open a nice restaurant if you don’t have a liquor license,” Boyd said. “Without serving beer or liquor, it kind of takes a big dimension out of your restaurant.”

Boyd’s ultimate goal is to make Martinsburg more of a tourist destination. By passing these ordinances, he thinks he’ll be a little closer to that.

At the end of June, the Berkley County Council members will collectively decide to either pass or reject the church ordinance.

Boyd would like the 300-feet barrier to be reduced to only 50-feet.

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