The Lowdown on North Carolina’s Brunch Bill

If you are a North Carolinian, you may have heard a lot of buzz in the last few months about the “brunch bill”. But do you really know what’s going on with it?

The “brunch bill”, which is actually Senate Bill 155 and contains a plethora of other changes to North Carolina’s liquor laws, would allow stores and restaurants to begin selling beer and alcohol starting at 10 a.m. on Sundays (it was previously noon). The bill was signed into action by Governor Roy Cooper on June 30 however local municipalities have to approve the bill for their own communities before the law could go into effect.

Surprisingly not everyone has been on board with this bill and some communities (such as Kure Beach, Nags Head, and New Bern) did not reach the 2/3 majority of votes needed to pass it. From my reading, it seems like the biggest reason the bill did not pass was because of morality reasons – people fear that by selling alcohol earlier on a Sunday, it would deter individuals from going to church or that it would ruin the “family” atmosphere of a tourist area.

Seriously? The beaches are already covered with cigarette butts, beer cans, and other less than savory items in these “family” areas. You walk an extra block in some cute little historic town and may find yourself in a crime ridden neighborhood where heroin needles linger in the gutters. I think our communities need to focus a bit more on fixing their already existing issues than trying to blame those issues on something that hasn’t even come to fruition yet.

But I digress.

I’m not a big drinker myself. I might have one Corona on occasion or a pumpkin beer during the season, but that’s about the extent of it. Does it matter to me about picking up a 6-pack from the grocery store at 11:30 a.m.? Not really. Even though I rarely consume alcohol, I still see the need for North Carolina’s Brunch Bill to pass.

Why?

Revenue.

Living off the cuff of North Carolina’s coast, we receive a lot of tourists to this area. A lot of tourists who support our local businesses and would more than likely not attend church in the area anyway. These are typically families who aren’t going to go wild and crazy and turn into lushes at 10 a.m. on a Sunday morning. They are the ones who are going to want to go out, have someone else prepare their breakfast, and enjoy a mimosa or two with their family.

This is the opportunity to drive additional business to our areas. Instead of staying home and fixing their own drinks, people could spend the money out in the community. They could support our local restaurants and shops. The price of one bloody mary may not seem like it would make much difference, but if that person then decides to wander into the shop next door, then multiple people benefit.

The majority of restaurants seem to be in favor of the “brunch bill” but as the communities in North Carolina continue to vote, it’ll be interesting to see the overall outcome.

What do you think about the “brunch bill”? If you aren’t in North Carolina, what time does alcohol sales start on Sunday in your area?

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The Flour Girls Cafe and Bakery [Elizabeth City]

I think that I have found my new favorite lunch destination.

The Flour Girls Cafe and Bakery is another one of those newly opened places to eat at in Elizabeth City that I’ve been wanting to try out but haven’t gotten around to. Okay, so really they opened back in mid-2016 and they aren’t that new but new enough that I don’t feel bad about taking so long to try them out.

The Flour Girls Cafe and Bakery serves breakfast and lunch along with a delicious looking assortment of baked goods – they also cater and can do special order cakes/cookies. On top of everything else, they host cookie/cake decorating classes! The owners were winners of the 2016 Jump-Start Elizabeth City Downtown Business Plan Competition which works to bring new businesses to the downtown area.

For lunch I order the half of the Pilgrim sandwich [turkey, provolone cheese, pesto, cranberry sauce, and maybe on homemade bread]. It’s served with house pickles and your choice of sides – I went with chips.

Let’s start with the pickles. I cannot say enough about their house pickles. Those suckers are delicious. I could eat a whole jar full. After eating a couple, I knew that I needed to share some with my boyfriend (he loves pickles) but the thought of those tasty little nuggets sitting just feet away from me right now is torture. The pickles are a perfectly balanced blend of sweetness and crunch. I’m not a pickle aficionado (other than the sweet pickles that my mom makes) but these may be bread and butter type pickles?

Ordering the half size of a sandwich gives you plenty of food in my mind. My sandwich was delicious and in each bite I was able to snag a little turkey, a little pesto, a little cheese and cranberry sauce. The bread is crisp and serves as a great vehicle to transport everything into the mouth.

Being in a bakery, I of course had to order dessert so I went with one of their daily cupcakes – this one had a delicious lemon frosting (with lemon zest flecked throughout it) and coconut flakes. The cupcake itself wasn’t dry or crumbly, the frosting wasn’t too sweet and even better, they added a logical (i.e. proportionate) amount of frosting on top!

Since I only had the opportunity to run down there on my lunch break, I called in my order ahead of time. There is plenty of seating available in the cafe however and the service was quick. Everything was nice and clean and if I were to find out that they had free WiFi, I would make this my morning place to bring my laptop on the weekends (note to self: look into that update: they do!).

Located in downtown Elizabeth City, right on the waterfront, this is a great place to stop, grab a bite to eat, and mosey around some of the little shops in town. You should definitely give it a shot!

The Flour Girls Cafe and Bakery
102 Water St.

Elizabeth City, NC 27909
Monday 7:30 am to 5:00 pm
Tuesday – Friday 7:30 am to 3:30 pm
Saturday 8:00 am to 2:00 pm

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Barley’s Pizza [Elizabeth City]

Barley’s Pizza opened up last fall in Elizabeth City but it wasn’t until earlier this year that I was able to get out there (even though it’s located just a few miles from where I work). The restaurant is a good example of re-purposing the space you have. Located in an old Burger King building, Barley’s Pizza still sort of sets off that BK vibe. Little has been done to really impact the interior, which makes sense to me. When you decide to start any business, everyday you are unable to sell to customers is money down the drain. Besides, this is a pizza joint. As long as the food is good, we don’t need white table linens and fancy decor.

So how IS the food? Not too shabby really. After returning from Alaska in October, I compare all of my pizzas to the delicious one we ate at Moose’s Tooth and the pizza I had at Barley’s Pizza was almost there. I tend to like a more unique pizza so we ordered the Capri [Ricotta Cheese, Mozzarella Cheese, Garlic Oil , Mushrooms, Tomato, Spinach & Broccoli]. It may sound a little weird but all the flavors melded together nicely. There was a nice saltiness that I enjoyed and though we ate until we were stuffed, we still had plenty of leftovers.

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That’s another thing I noticed about Barley’s Pizza. The portion sizes are huge! A few weeks later, I ventured back and ordered a Reuben. I love Reuben’s but I’m not such a fan of corned beef sometimes, so I typically special order my Reuben with turkey. If you’ve never tried a Reuben with turkey then you are in for a treat. I ate half of my sandwich, a few waffle fries, and was beyond stuffed.

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Robb and I definitely plan to return and hope to someday have the occasion to order the party size pizza. That thing is HUGE!

If you read some of the reviews on the internet, you’ll find that most people say that the food is good but service is slow. While I don’t necessarily disagree with that, I think that in a new place, it can sometimes take a little while for the staff to get their footing. All in all though, definitely check out Barley’s Pizza for a great deal on good food.

Barley Pizza Family Restaurant
1333 N Road Street
Elizabeth City, NC 27909
Monday-Thursday 10am -11pm
Friday-Saturday 10am-12am
Sundays 10am-11pm

 

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