By: Sharon Aron Baron
Telling customers to go someplace else to shop isn’t the best way to make a living, but one small business owner in Tamarac does this every week due to the City of Tamarac’s Sunday “blue laws” which forbids the sale of alcohol before noon.
For 21 years, Fred Kahook has owned two locations of Tubby’s Liquor Store at both 6980 West McNab Road and 8174 University Drive and said that he has lost business during this time because he cannot sell alcohol on Sunday mornings, while nearby cities can.
“I always wondered why we couldn’t sell it, and other cities could. Then I saw your article,” said Kahook referring to to an article about the outdated ordinance in Tamarac. He said that when customers come to his store or drive-through on Sunday mornings, his employees apologize and tell them they cannot sell to them, instead directing them to drive to Coral Springs, Margate or Davie, since they do not have any ordinance restricting alcohol sales.
Ordinance Sec. 3-2. reads:
“The sale of all alcoholic beverages for consumption, either on or off premises, on Sunday is prohibited from 2:01 a.m. to 12:00 noon, local time. For the purpose of this section, the term “alcoholic beverage” is that term set forth within F.S. chapter 561.”
As the editor of Tamarac Talk, I have been writing about the ordinance here for several years trying to get it repealed. Back in 2014, during a meeting with Commissioner Michelle Gomez informing her that Coral Springs and Parkland recently removed their Sunday “blue law” ordinance, I asked her to make a motion to remove ours. Gomez did not feel it was important enough to change, and told me so.
In 2015, I wrote about how local stores were abiding by the ordinance, yet the City of Tamarac was breaking their very own law by selling liquor at the city-owned Colony West Golf Club in City Caught Red-Handed Breaking Blue Laws. Instead of repealing the ordinance, they banned liquor sales at the bar before noon. However, sources have told Tamarac Talk that the club skirts around this ordinance by not “closing” alcohol tabs until after noon on Sunday.
Kahook desperately wanted change, and I told him to contact the city via email about his dilemma. Once he did, he received a response back from City Manager Michael Cernech. They spoke on the phone and Cernech said that Mayor Harry Dressler would be receptive to finally changing the ordinance and to come to the next city commission meeting and speech during public comments. Kahook plans on addressing the commission on Wednesday, March 22, 2017 at 9 a.m.
He hopes that once the ordinance is removed, he can finally sell beer, wine and liquor during these hours.
“I can hire more workers, and sales will increase,” he said. “I can also bring the customers back.”