WESTFIELD, NJ — It’s going to be a few more weeks before the public can buy alcohol before noon on Sundays in this town.
The Town Council has postponed approval of a regulation anticipated to allow the sale of alcohol starting at 9 a.m. on Sundays where before it was only allowed starting at noon.
The council on Tuesday delayed approval of the update to an existing ordinance because it did not comply with a state law prohibiting the sale of liquor for drinking off premises after 10 p.m., Town Attorney Thomas Jardim said.
“Stores can’t sell packaged goods after 10 p.m.,” Jardim said. “Our ordinance is less than clear.” The prohibition is for the hours between 10 p.m. and 9 a.m., the regulation states.
Previously, the times of sale permitted depended on the type of alcohol being sold, the updated law states.
“The differential treatment of hours based upon the type of alcoholic beverage and the day of the week is unnecessarily complicated, and the varied and staggered hours of sale serve no important public purpose,” the local law states.
The council will hold a public hearing on the updated measure March 12, at which time it is anticipated to adopt the local law.
The law would allow for the sale of alcohol for drinking on the premises of restaurants and bars, but not from 1 a.m. to 9 a.m., with one exception.
Although a draft of the revised ordinance removed the ability for establishments to sell alcohol after 1 a.m. New Year’s Day, the latest version of the law would now continue to allow sales until 3 a.m. on that day.
Also on Tuesday, the Town Council approved several restaurants permitted to have sidewalk cafes this summer. Outdoor dining areas will be permitted at approved establishments from April 1 to Nov. 30 from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.