By JOHN T. WARD
Six mornings a week, those with a yen to wet their whistles in Red Bank can do so in a bar as early as 7 a.m.
For decades, though, they’ve had to wait until the ungodly hour of 11 on Sunday – a whole nine hours after closing time, the poor things.
The borough council fixed that injustice Wednesday night.
The governing body approved a law revision allowing on-premises imbibing in bars and restaurants starting at 9 a.m. on Sunday.
Councilman Art Murphy half-joked that the measure didn’t go far enough, and should allow bars to serve the hair of the dog as early as 7, just as they can the rest of the week.
Mayor Pasquale Menna said the change was requested by restaurant and tavern owners, who argued they were at a disadvantage to operators of packaged-goods stores, which can open at 9 on Sunday.
“It was a matter of parity,” he said.
The old law delaying the first draught until 11 was a relic of the days when the churches wanted butts in pews, not on barstools, he said.
“But the people who wanted to drink at that hour were never going to church,” he said.
If New Year’s Day falls on a Sunday, the first drink still can’t be served before noon. Blessedly, that won’t happen until the start of 2017.
Here’s the ordinance: RB 2013-20