Passed Bill Would Help Restaurant and Bars Owners

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HARRISONBURG, Va. (WHSV) -- The General Assembly has passed legislation to make it easier for restaurant and bar owners to do business in Virginia. Now the bill waits for the governor's signature.

Currently, in order for restaurants and bars to sell alcohol in Virginia, they must earn 80 percent of their income from food and non-alcoholic beverages.

If signed, this bill would lower that percentage, making it easier for restaurants to operate. The bill drops the ratio to 75 percent in order to hold a state liquor license.

Barbara Pedeville, the general manager at Billy Jack's Wing & Draft Shack in Harrisonburg, said if Governor McAuliffe signs the bill, it will prevent restaurants from shutting down because as it stand right now, the requirement is difficult to meet.

"If you have to sell 75 percent of food, and the majority of your business doesn't even start until night, and it tends to be more of night-club party atmosphere, most of the people there are there to dance and to drink, not so much to go and eat," Pedeville said.

She believes the percent should be even lower than what the bill proposed, but she says the change will make a huge difference for bigger bar and restaurant owners.