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Oxford aldermen vote to allow bars to sell booze until 1 a.m. – except Sundays

People who like to enjoy a late-night cocktail in one of Oxford’s many restaurants will no longer have to figure out what time the bar closes based on what night of the week it is.

On Tuesday, the Oxford Board of Aldermen voted to change the city’s alcohol ordinance to allow bars to sell alcohol until 1 a.m. Monday through Saturday and until 9 p.m. on Sundays.

For years, bars could sell spirits until 12 a.m. on Monday through Wednesday and on Saturday, 1 a.m. on Thursday and Friday and, more recently, until 9 p.m. on Sunday. If a home football game or a national holiday fell on a Saturday, the bars could stay open until 1 a.m.

OPD Chief Joey East said making the times restaurants can sell alcohol the same each day except Sunday will help avoid confusion and make the local law more coherent.

At a public hearing held earlier this month, no one spoke out for or against the ordinance change.

With little discussion, the board unanimously approved the ordinance change that will go into effect in 30 days.

Also on Tuesday, the aldermen approved an ordinance change that will make the consumption of alcoholic beverages on the premises of a business that sells unopened containers of liquor, beer or wine, illegal and the sale of unopened alcohol beverages in restaurants and other businesses that allow on-premise consumption illegal.

However, an exception will be made for businesses permitting the consumption of beer or light wine on the premises, to sell draft beer in refillable containers, generally called “growlers” prior to 10 p.m., during normal hours of operation. The growlers must not be less than 32 ounces nor more than 128 ounces.

The ordinance change is to make local beer, wine and liquor laws the same as the Alchohol Beverage Control Act regulations.