SUWANEE -- It's now legal in Suwanee to have a glass of wine while getting your hair or nails done, and to take an unfinished bottle of wine home after dinner.
The Suwanee City Council on Tuesday approved a resolution to update its alcohol ordinance following a comprehensive review by city staff. Among the changes are the allowance of a "corking" law, which means a customer is allowed to take a partially consumed bottle of wine with them out of the establishment, which is consistent with state law.
The city also allowed for non-eating establishments, such as hair and nail salons and gift shops, to serve wine or beer, "as an act of hospitality provided it is not part of the core operations of the business."
A consumption section of the ordinance also changed. A new requirement is that 40 percent of gross sales come from prepared meals or food, down from 50 percent, at eating establishments. For indoor civic and cultural centers, the new requirement is down 10 percent to 60 percent of gross sales come from prepared meals or food. A brewpub's requirement of gross sales come from prepared meals or food was lowered to 40 percent from 50 percent.
Art shops, such as Masterpiece Mixers, can allow customers to bring in their own bottle of beer or wine.
Suwanee resident Karen Williams objected to the proposed amendment during the audience participation portion of the meeting. Williams said she didn't see a reason why someone would need to take an open wine bottle out of a restaurant. The revised ordinance is, "a little bit of a double standard" against the family-friendly atmosphere that the city promotes, she said.
City Manager Marty Allen said the "corking" law is a safety issue that allows patrons to take a bottle with them instead of chugging it at the table.
The council also authorized a contract with Norcross-based Tristar of America Inc. for $213,400 to demolish the Hotel May Queen, which the city recently purchased.
The city approved a home occupation ordinance that clarified unlicensed business-like activities being subject to the same standards as licensed home occupations. In one example, Planning Director Josh Campbell said a semi-tractor trailer was in a neighborhood. Another change allowed for single family homes in a three-acre area along Moore Road near Suwanee Dam Road. A developer can now build four homes there instead of two.
City officials recognized Scott and Debbie Dovel, who recently made a donation that allowed the city to purchase the eight-foot wood sculpture "Pilgrim," which was part of the 2012 Suwanee SculpTour.
The city also approved a contract with Deshein to redesign the city's logo. Kevin O'Brien, who resigned from the Downtown Development Authority in December, was reappointed.
New restaurants Los Cabos Mex Mex Grill at 360 Peachtree Industrial Blvd. and Segreto at 3370 Lawrenceville-Suwanee Road received alcohol license approvals. New owners at Segreto acquired the former Portobella restaurant.