OXFORD – Beer drinkers may soon buy cold beer in Oxford – and possibly on Sunday.
Attorney Dee Hobbs, representing two convenience store companies, asked the Board of Aldermen on Tuesday to rescind a longtime ordinance that forbids the sale of refrigerated beer for off-premises consumption.
Concerns about the proposal were few. Alderman Janice Antonow asked Police Chief Joey East to consult other towns about any problems with crime, loitering or litter that resulted from similar changes. She also suggested delaying implementation by a few weeks.
Mayor Pat Patterson endorsed the delay, citing the cost and time involved in installing additional coolers.
After Patterson asked City Attorney Pope Mallette to draft language for the change, Antonow also, proposed expanding stores sales of beer to Sundays.
Currently Oxford legalizes sales of beer, wine and liquor by the drink in restaurants on a handful of holidays and the Sundays after University of Mississippi home football games. Sunday retail liquor sales are forbidden by state law, and Oxford currently prohibits Sunday store sales of all beer.
Antonow’s proposal would limit Sunday retail beer sales to the same hours as the occasional restaurant sales – 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. She asked that the proposed changes be written so as to be independent of each other.
“We can vote for Sunday or not Sunday, cold or not cold, or neither,” she said. Mallette said the state Alcoholic Beverage Control would not be involved with the change since it does not involve wine or liquor.
Alderman Jay Hughes asked East to add to his report any pertinent information about increased policing problems on the Sundays when Oxford restaurants are allowed to sell alcohol by the drink.
The board will hold a public hearing on both cold beer and Sunday sales on Aug. 6 and will vote on both issues on Aug. 20.