6.17 alcohol

It's Sunday afternoon in Madison County and perhaps you would like to enjoy an adult beverage while watching football at home, or while cooling off after mowing the lawn, or while hanging out with friends in the neighborhood.

However, you don't have any beer, or wine, or other kind of potent potable.

What do you do?

"Raise your hand if you’ve ever done an Exit 104 run on a Sunday," Edgar Ford recently posted on the Richmond Register's Facebook page.

Packaged alcohol sales are prohibited on Sunday in Richmond.

They are not in Lexington.

So each weekend, some residents of Madison County embark on the short trip up I-75 and take the first exit across the Fayette County line where they can purchase something to drink.

The businesses off Exit 104 — gas stations and liquor stores — benefit greatly from the influx of the Sunday traffic making the trip north.

The revenue, however, could — and should — stay in Madison County.

On Tuesday afternoon, the Richmond City Commission heard from a local citizen who is advocating for a change in policy.

He — along with others — want Richmond to allow packaged alcohol sales seven days a week — not just six.

“According to my research, we are the only larger-size county that restricts package sales on Sunday," Charley Hamilton, co-owner of Dreaming Creek Brewery said at the meeting. “During the pandemic, this took away a complete day and closed our doors completely on Sunday. This hurt our sales quite a bit when we needed it, and our employees need it too.”

Alcohol can be purchased by the drink in Richmond on Sunday at establishments like Dreaming Creek, along with many restaurants.

Six packs of Dreaming Creek's beer, though, can not be purchased at the brewery or at other businesses in Madison County on Sunday.

It's hard to find the logic in that dizzying, out-dated juxtaposition.

The Richmond City Commission took no direct action on the subject on Tuesday during the workshop session.

The elected officials did indicate they wanted to consult with surrounding communities and would send out a survey to residents of Madison County to see how they would react to Sunday alcohol sales.

This is a good first step.

We hope the commission moves forward with this plan and ultimately decides to make a change.

Because if you ask the citizens of Richmond if they would be in favor of packaged alcohol sales, we believe the majority of them would raise their hands in support.

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