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Macon County Markets Request Sunday Beer Sales

By Misty Green

Lying just beyond the outskirts of the city limits of Lafayette and Red Boiling Springs are three markets seeking permission from Macon County lawmakers to be allowed to sell beer on Sundays. 

District 6 Commissioner Tony Wix stated, “I have talked to one (Coley Market’s owner Nimesh Patel) and he told me they are having a problem on Sundays with people attempting to buy beer. He explained, “People are coming in to buy it and they can’t sell it, and I reckon his employees are getting cussing after cussing, and he wanted to try to get it to where he can sell beer on Sundays.”

Recalling the controversy just a few years ago, when two beer ordinances for sales on Sunday were approved by Lafayette’s City Council on October 12, 2021, over the protests of more than 25 citizens from several churches in the area, who assembled in the parking lot before the vote, singing hymns and praying, just as they had previously done in the August meeting.

In Red Boiling Springs, a city inside of Macon County, beer is also allowed to be sold on Sundays.

“There are three markets in the county (requesting Sunday beer sale permission),” Macon County Mayor Steve Jones said, “There’s Peggy’s Market, O K Market, and Coley’s Market.”

“If you just want to send this on to the next meeting, then Guy (Holiman) will tell you what you have got to do because it takes a resolution that you’ll have to have in February, so all you’re doing is deciding to go through with this… It’ll be controversial, I’m telling you, even though it’s just three stores in the county… What’s the will of the body,” Mayor Jones asked.

“I’ll make that motion,” District 10 Commissioner Helen Hesson declared, and was approved.

Speaking with Mr. Nimesh (Nick) Patel after the meeting had concluded, he divulged he did not realize there was such a big difference between the City (laws) and the County, concerning beer sales on Sunday, being that his store was just a few miles away from other markets, who are allowed to sell beer on Sundays.

“Some customers come in here every Sunday, wanting to buy beer and some do get very mad when they are refused, especially seeing the beer cooler stocked full.” He further explained that he does not think it is fair to have to send that revenue a few miles down the road. “Customers get mad when we have to tell them no, and that they could drive a few more miles into Red Boiling Springs or into the city of Lafayette to buy it.” 

Mr. Patel also stated, “Maybe they will pass it and help my business, and my employees will not have to refuse customers.”