Restaurants in the Oregon District and other sections of downtown Dayton will be able to serve alcoholic drinks at 10 a.m. rather than waiting until 11 a.m. later this fall after passage of a ballot issue Tuesday. FILE PHOTO

Downtown Dayton restaurants toast ‘brunch bill’ election result

Restaurant owners are joining Dayton Chamber of Commerce officials in raising a glass in celebration of downtown Dayton voters’ overwhelming support of a ballot issue that will allow for an extra hour of alcohol service on Sunday mornings.

Voters in Precinct 1-B voted 218 to 35 to approve the measure dubbed “the brunch bill,” which restaurant owners requested and the chamber spearheaded. When the change takes effect later this year, the 37 bars and restaurants within the boundaries of the downtown Dayton precinct 1-B will be able to start serving alcohol on Sundays at 10 a.m. instead of 11 a.m. Businesses affected include those on the business strip of the Oregon District on East Fifth Street as well as the area around the Cannery and part of the Water Street development.

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“Downtown Dayton is getting it done,” said Chris Kershner, executive vice president of the Dayton Area Chamber of Commerce. “I’m looking forward to ordering my Bloody Mary at 10:01 a.m. and celebrating with fellow Daytonian brunch lovers.”

Business owners said the issue went beyond simply an extra hour of alcohol service.

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“The significance of the passing of this bill goes beyond the ability of restaurants to serve alcohol at 10 a.m.,” said Steve Tieber, owner of The Dublin Pub and a chief organizer of the Brunch Bill. “This gives the restaurants in downtown Dayton an incentive to increase business and expand their operational hours on Sunday. It doesn’t matter if alcohol is sold or not, the expanded hours will create jobs and most important, it will give patrons of downtown restaurants additional options for Sunday brunch.

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“The University of Dayton, The Dayton Convention Center and the influx of new residents in downtown Dayton are bringing thousands of new customers to our region monthly,” Tieber said.

“Sunday brunch is a business that was at one time reserved to breakfast restaurants and hotels. At The Dublin Pub, Sunday brunch is our third busiest day of the week and we staff if as we do a Friday or Saturday night.”

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The Dublin Pub owner — who served as chair of the “Brunch Bill Coalition,” a group of 20 bars, restaurants and other businesses that favored of the change — said the additional hour will enliven the holiday season at his establishment, which offers a holiday brunch with live classical music.

“The first Sunday the law is in effect, we will offer a special brunch and party at 10 a.m.,” Tieber said.

The chamber’s Kershner said passage of brunch bill “is one of many initiatives that is setting Dayton apart and making Dayton the place to be.”

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The chamber and its brunch-bill coalition partners mounted a campaign that included posters, banners and yard signs in the affected area of downtown Dayton. The coalition also mailed postcards to residents living in precinct 1-B.

Affected liquor-license holders will receive an updated license, which may happen before the end of 2017, chamber officials said. Once those licenses have been updated, the businesses will be able to offer liquor sales beginning at 10 a.m. Sundays.