Village Council has begun the process of repealing a 30-year-old law banning local establishments from serving alcohol on Sundays.
Acting at Monday's meeting, council passed on first reading an ordinance repealing the Sunday alcohol ban that has been in place since the 1980s. Council must pass the ordinance at its next two meetings before it becomes law.
Officials expect the immediate beneficiary would be the Shale Tavern and Grill since it is the only restaurant currently open in town on Sundays that sells alcohol. The restaurant has a state permit allowing it to sell alcoholic beverages Monday through Saturday only.
The Shale Tavern had filed a petition with the Columbiana County Board of Elections to place a liquor option before voters in the November 2012 election that would have granted it permission to serve alcoholic beverages on Sunday, but the liquor option never made it on the ballot due to lack of valid signatures on the petition.
It was about this time that village officials said they were approached by Shale Tavern representatives requesting the ban on Sunday sales be rescinded.
"What this does in effect is allow for Sunday liquor sales in Lisbon, provided there are the necessary (state) permits and licenses" in place, said Village Solicitor Virginia Barborak.
The other restaurants in town open on Sunday do not serve alcohol, although council members indicated some of the local social clubs may do so. A new bar called Shenanigans is supposed to open sometime this spring.
"This really isn't going to change much for anyone," Barborak said.
She questioned whether the village's ordinance could prohibit Sunday sales at an establishment that has a liquor permit because state law usually supercedes local law. Officials were also unsure what, if anything, repeal of the ordinance means for convenience stores and supermarkets that sell alcohol.