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Albertville and Guntersville leaders say ‘yes’ vote for Sunday alcohol sales means economic boost

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MARSHALL COUNTY, Ala. (WHNT) -- Two Marshall County cities are looking to the future after residents in Albertville and Guntersville approved measures allowing Sunday alcohol sales.

"All the time, people come in from the Huntsville area since we're right on 431, and they'll come in and we'll have to tell them no," says The Bridge Cafe owner Beau Pendergraft.

He's talking about a common experience on Sundays when guests hoped to buy alcohol.

After Tuesday's vote, that's changing in Guntersville and neighboring city Albertville.

Officials in both cities say the driving force behind the move for Sunday sales is economic development. "I think this vote will certainly give us another tool in our box to use to hopefully recruit some national brand, sit down restaurants," Albertville Mayor Tracy Honea says

"We've already had existing businesses state that they would be open on Sundays once this ordinance goes into effect," Guntersville Mayor Leigh Dollar says, "They're closed now so that's an immediate boost."

The Bridge Cafe is one of those businesses changing hours.

As an owner, Pendergraft says the vote means a step forward for the area. "It's not even really about the alcohol, it's about the economy, and it's about getting things going a little faster and better than they are right now," he says.

Existing ordinances in both cities have to be amended, so officials say the Sunday sales should go into effect in the next few weeks.

In Albertville the measure was approved by about 160 votes. In Guntersvile 940 people said "yes" and 409 said "no."