CARBONDALE — Mimosas and bloody marys can now be included in the bed-and-breakfast experience in Jackson County.
On Tuesday night, the Jackson County Board approved an amendment to its B&B ordinance allowing the establishments to sell alcohol at certain times to its guests and their invitees. The board also amended its liquor code by creating a new class of liquor license for the operators of the businesses.
According to Jackson County Board Chairman John Rendleman, until recently state law prohibited B&Bs from obtaining liquor licenses, and such language was also written into the county ordinance when it was adopted.
Rendleman said due to the change, he has been contacted by businesses that would like to be able to offer alcohol as part of their experiences, such as dinner with paired wines or a champagne breakfast.
The new Class L liquor license allows the sale of alcohol from 8 a.m. to noon, and from 3 p.m. to 11 p.m. Alcohol sales are limited to registered guests and their invitees, provided the number of guests and invitees does not exceed 10 persons at one time, or exceed the maximum daily capacity of the establishment.
Rendleman said the county wanted to be business-friendly, but not open the floodgates for people to drink all day.
“You don’t want to take anything away from the business, but you don’t want to turn it into a tavern,” he said.
Board member Steven Bost said when people stay at a B&B, the perception is that they like to buy things and have guests.
“I think it is a fairly reasonable compromise,” he said. “If we hear differently, the county has the ability to come back and make changes.”
The ordinance has a $350 fee for establishments that wish to sell alcohol.
Malcolm and Loraine Leigh, operators of the Makanda Inn at 855 Lower Cobden Road, were in attendance at Tuesday’s meeting and spoke in favor of the ordinance.
On Tuesday Loraine Leigh said they contacted the owner of the inn, and got the green light to continue planning how to utilize the new aspect of their business.
“We are going to keep it very small and personal to the Inn,” she said. “Just as we do with our breakfast, we will not break any rules.”
The Makanda Inn operators have been talking with guests about the potential sale of alcohol and Loraine says they have gotten favorable feedback. Guests have expressed interest in morning drinks, or having a night cap after dining when returning to their room for the evening.
Rendleman said this would not affect the guests’ ability to bring their own alcohol to the establishment if they choose. He said it only applies to the sale of alcohol.