A Camden restaurant is the latest to speak out against Hillsdale County’s “Blue Laws” that prohibit on-premise liquor consumption on Sundays.
Farmhouse Kitchen & Ale has requested the repeal of the current ordinance that prohibits Sunday liquor sales. The law firm representing the restaurant, Carlin Edwards Brown, sent a letter to the County Clerk’s Office seeking assistance in pursuing the repeal.
While carry out package liquor sales are permitted on Sundays, Hillsdale County is the only county in Michigan that forbids on-premises liquor sales on Sundays.
In the letter, The law firm argues that there is no reasonable justification for the distinction and suggests that repealing the law would boost business for local bars and restaurants.
The Hillsdale County Board of Commissioners discussed the issue at Tuesday’s regular meeting.
Commissioner Brad Benzing said based on the way the law was initially passed, it cannot be changed by a vote of the Commissioners. It can only be changed by a ballot initiative.
Supporters would need to gather 1,492 petition signatures from registered voters in the county.
The deadline for filing the petitions for the August 6, 2024 ballot is April 30, and for the November 5, 2024 ballot, it is July 30,.
Benzing said repealing the rule would benefit the county. Commissioners Chairman Mark WIley agreed, saying restaurant owners and other interested need to work together to get the issue on the ballot.