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Zachary Sunday Blue Laws Evolve for Economic Viability

The Zachary City Council met for its regularly scheduled meeting, Tuesday April 9, 2019. Members in attendance included Lael Montgomery (District 5), Hunter Landry (District 4), Laura O'Brien (District 3), Brandon Noel (District 2), and Francis Nezianya (District 1). Mayor David Amrhein and City Attorney John Hopewell were also present.

Retail dealers and restaurants will soon breathe a sigh of relief as decades-old laws are set to evolve to the current business climate. Known as blue laws, Sunday restrictions intended to control behavior based on religious fervor are being challenged in cities across the country where businesses and citizens are demanding that they be the ones to dictate their own purchases on Sundays.

Thanks to a united effort by council members, ordinance 2019-02 is set to balance local rules governing the Sunday sale of alcoholic beverages with that of the wider region. In an effort to help retail dealers and restaurants "who realize at least 60 percent of their monthly revenues from the sale of merchandise other than alcoholic beverages" (i.e. Rouses, Winn Dixie, Wal-Mart, CVS etc.), the new ordinance will allow them to sell between 10 a.m. Sunday and midnight. This is a change from the previous 12 noon through midnight restriction.

In past meetings, Brandon Noel, an outspoken advocate of the principles behind this inclusive measure, voiced concern that local businesses were having to play by more stringent rules than their regional competitors. In May 2018, Noel, was quoted saying, "I wanted to match the parish, and everybody didn't like it, so I'd like someone else to bring it up this time."

This time around, the conversation was started by Mid-City business owner, Brock Kantrow, of Bistro Byronz. After setting up the hot new location at Americana, Kantrow was surprised to learn that, unlike his Mid-City location, he could not serve mimosas and Bloody Mary cocktails at Sunday brunch until noon in Zachary, to the disappointment of his new Zachary customer base. Kantrow' s story resonated with local residents, evidenced by the fact that the new ordinance drew no opposition and received a unanimous vote amongst members.

2019-02 also makes it unlawful for any person to possess in an open container any alcoholic beverage at the Zachary Youth Park. There is already an ordinance in place prohibiting smoking at the Zachary Youth Park. These measures were put in place to protect the public and the integrity of the multi-million dollar facility grounds.

2019-02 will make it easier for events to take place at other publicly owned properties as the prohibitions to alcohol possession are lessened at these locations.

Article Provided by Zachary Post  |  Mike Gennaro


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