A new amendment to the city of Cedartown’s alcohol ordinance will allow new entertainment establishments to be able to serve beer and wine without having to sell food as well.

The change, which was approved unanimously by the Cedartown City Commission at its June meeting, stipulates that a business still must have a majority of its sales come from merchandise or services — not food — aside from alcohol and be open a minimum number of hours.

The path to the amendment began in early 2020 when the commission approved a change to the alcohol ordinance to allow retail cigar shops to serve alcohol by the drink. That came as a result of Cedar and Smoke Cigars seeking to open on Herbert Street in downtown Cedartown.

But when a couple who recently moved to Cedartown with plans to open an axe throwing venue inside the city limits asked about serving alcohol as well, City Manager Edward Guzman was faced with a question.

“Do we want to open up the alcohol license to allow all entertainment-type establishments to apply,” Guzman said, adding that a good example would be a bowling alley.

Under the city’s alcohol ordinance before the approval of the amendment, a business that wanted to sell alcohol but only served a small amount of food, if at all, would not have been allowed since the food-alcohol ratio was 51%, except for retail cigar shops.

“We specifically tailored it to retail cigar shops. But when we had a conversation about this new potential business there was the thought of, ‘do we just want to do a line item that says axe throwing or do we actually just want to open it up and allow other types of establishments the opportunity to come into the city and serve alcohol responsibly.’”

The amendment states that in order to be allowed a license for alcohol consumption on the premises, a business must maintain a 51% business volume from the sale of merchandise or services that does not include alcohol.

“So there still has to be a ratio,” Guzman said. “And that was done to prevent just a pure bar from opening. If somebody said they wanted to open up a bar just for alcohol, that's the only thing they're selling, that's still not allowed in Cedartown.”

The business must also be open to the public for a minimum of 32 hours per week. Guzman said this is to prevent any “pop-up” or weekend-only type clubs or businesses from being able to serve alcohol.

The amendment only allows the sale of beer and wine by the drink in places that fall under the entertainment-type style category and don’t have a majority of their sales come from food.

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