Atlanta begins Sunday alcohol sales

Ready to raise another toast to the new year?

That should be a little easier for residents of Atlanta, Kennesaw and Smyrna when starting at 12:30 p.m. Sunday alcohol sales became legal in those cities.

A steady flow of customers and strong sales was reported at Green's Discount Beverage Store on Ponce De Leon Avenue in Atlanta.

Manager Bernard Thomas said "everybody is still happy and still coming to us, it's nonstop today."

He said some customers were looking for a little "hair of the dog," or alcoholic drink that is supposed to cure a hangover, to remedy any after-effects of their New Year's Eve celebrations.

Atlanta, Kennesaw and Smyrna were among almost 50 metro-area jurisdictions whose citizens voted overwhelmingly in favor of buying booze on Sunday in a referendum on the Nov. 8 elections. Statewide, 128 cities voted and 105 of them said yes, according to the Georgia Food Industry Association.

Most of metro Atlanta's approving cities either set effective dates in December or January.

The city of Winder was the first to offer alcohol at grocery stores, convenience stores and liquor stores Nov. 13. At least 18 cities in Cherokee, Clayton, DeKalb, Fulton and Gwinnett counties followed suit on Nov. 20.

A few municipalities, like the city of Grayson, have asked retailers to apply for licenses that City Council members will consider approving at an upcoming meeting. Some other cities are waiting for their city councils to approve or amend ordinances before putting the changes into effect.

Some jurisdictions have yet to vote. Unincorporated Cobb, DeKalb, Fayette, Gwinnett and Henry County voters will decide on the issue March 6. Powder Springs and Austell also will vote in March.