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Liquor sales on Sunday and sales of beer at retail liquor stores

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Reviewed Date: December 11, 2019

Original Author: 
Hodge, Elisha
Date of Material: 
Aug 8, 2018


Subjects:
Alcoholic beverages--Laws and regulations

Liquor sales on Sunday and sales of beer at retail liquor stores

Summary: 
MTAS responds to the following questions: At what time can restaurants sell liquor by the drink on Sundays; the time for a retail store to sell off-premises liquor on Sundays; and can a retail liquor store sell beer?

Questions: At what time can restaurants sell liquor by the drink on Sundays and the time for a retail store to sell off-premises liquor on Sundays.  Also can a retail liquor store sell beer? 
 
Retail package stores were given the authority to sell beer in 2014 when the following language was added to the Tennessee Code:
 

Notwithstanding subsection (a), beginning July 1, 2014, a retail licensee holding a license issued under § 57-3-204 shall be permitted to sell at retail beer and other malt beverages, subject to the restriction in § 57-3-806(e). No permit or license other than the license issued pursuant to § 57-3-204 shall be required for the licensed retailer to engage in such sales of beer and other malt beverages and the issuer of that license has the authority to enforce any laws related to such sales. -- Tenn. Code Ann. Section 57-3-404(e)(2).

 
Additionally, with the passage of Public Chapter 783, Acts of 2018, package stores can now sell alcohol and beer beginning at 10:00 a.m. on Sundays. The language from the public chapter is codified at Tenn. Code Ann. Section 57-3-406(e) and reads:
 

No retail store shall sell, give away, or otherwise dispense alcoholic beverages except between the hours of eight o'clock a.m. (8:00 a.m.) and eleven o'clock p.m. (11:00 p.m.) on Monday through Saturday and between ten o'clock a.m. (10:00 a.m.) and eleven o'clock p.m. (11:00 p.m.) on Sunday.

 
With regard to restaurants selling alcohol for on premise consumption, restaurants with licenses to sell alcohol for on premise consumption or liquor by the drink can sell alcohol in the establishments beginning at 12:00 p.m. on Sundays, (See Tenn. Code Ann. Section 57-4-203(d)(2)) if liquor by the drink was approved through a referendum and the city opted out of the expanded hours for selling alcohol through a resolution. If the city did not opt out of the expanded hours, establishments can begin selling liquor by the drink at 10:00 a.m. on Sundays (See Tenn. Comp. R. and Reg. 0100-01-.03(2)).
 
Also, pursuant to the language in Tenn. Code Ann. Section 57-5-113, beer can be sold in the restaurants beginning at 10:00 a.m. on Sundays, assuming that the establishments have applied for and been granted beer permits and the city has not opted out of the expanded hours for liquor by the drink. The language in that section reads:
 

Any establishment that is permitted to sell liquor or wine for on-premises consumption pursuant to chapter 4 of this title shall be allowed to sell beer at any time the establishment is legally authorized to sell liquor or wine; provided, that the establishment has lawfully obtained a beer permit from the appropriate jurisdiction.

 
If the city opted out of the expanded hours, beer can be sold in the establishments on Sundays beginning at noon.
 

 
 


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Information written by MTAS staff was based on the law at the time and/or a specific sets of facts. The laws referenced may have changed and/or the technical advice provided may not be applicable to your city or circumstances. Always consult with your city attorney or an MTAS consultant before taking any action based on information posted to this website.