Those visiting a restaurant for Sunday brunch in Pottawatomie County can wash down their meal with a mimosa.

Note: An in-depth look at the Sunday alcohol sales in Pottawatomie County and its economic and developmental impact. Since its approval, the resolution allows on-premise liquor consumption of alcoholic beverages other than beer on Sundays at local restaurants.

Those visiting a restaurant for Sunday brunch in Pottawatomie County can wash down their meal with a mimosa.

Since the Nov. 8 election, restaurants have been able to serve alcoholic drinks on Sunday. The proposal passed after 15,314 people — or 60.42 percent — approved the resolution. Prior to the election, the laws of Pottawatomie County prevented the sale of anything other than low-point beer on Sundays.

One local restaurant noticed an immediate increase in sales.

“We do a Sunday brunch and the first Sunday after the election we were completely full,” Shawnee Country Club General Manager Jim Cowan said. “We basically doubled our business. We've always been handcuffed and now that we can serve on Sunday we've certainly seen an increase in business.”

Other local restaurants have seen a slight increase in patrons ordering drinks with their meals.

“People are definitely aware of it and I advertise on my sign, DeGraff's manager Chad Powell said. “Most of the people who are regulars so they know we have the approval to sell on Sunday so they are coming in and ordering drinks.”

With the resolution passing earlier this month, Powell speculated that some people may still be unaware of the changes in Sunday alcohol sales. In order to make patrons aware, DeGraff's has signage out front, making everyone aware of the changes, Powell said.

As far as long-term effects, Powell said it is too early to tell. He said he would need at least four to six months to calculate the additional revenue this resolution will generate.

Scott Short, manager at The Garage, said the Shawnee location hasn't seen a major increase as of yet and it's going to take a little while to get customers in the habit of coming out on Sunday.

Newly-elected Shawnee Mayor Richard Finley hopes this will help attract new businesses to the city.

“I am very pleased with the Sunday serving results,” Finley said after the election. “It enhances our economic development efforts.”

Tim Burg, executive director of the Shawnee Economic Development Foundation, said Sunday alcohol sales should help with future economic development.

“From a retail attraction perspective, it allows us to be on a level playing field with the larger cities located to the west of Shawnee,” Burg said. “Prior to the passage of this, when we were asked the question about the ability to sell alcoholic beverages on Sunday, we shared that those sales were limited to 3.2 beer. In a world where national and regional retailers make decisions based upon which locations provide them with their greatest profit opportunities, we were certainly at a disadvantage in the limitations of what beverages their consumers could purchase.”

With Sunday sales now legal, Burg is eager to see what businesses will call Shawnee home.

“As witnessed over the last few years with the resurgence of a new wave of retailers who have chosen Shawnee as a suitable location, we are eager to watch how this new ruling affects these recruitment efforts,” Burg said. “We are fortunate to have a lot of right criteria that most retailers are looking for and now we are even a bit more competitive with others in the region.”

Burg said research showed the lack of Sunday alcohol sales was creating almost a 50 percent loss of food sales volumes when comparing Saturday and Sunday totals, plus those retailers shared their Shawnee customers were driving to the west on Sunday to their sister restaurants, where they could purchase the beverages they want.

You can reach Adam Ewing at (405) 214-3940.