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Big restriction lifted on North Carolina bars

HB 768 passed Thurs. July 7 in a 100-9 vote. People won't have to pay a fee and bars don't have to keep up with stacks of "unnecessary" paperwork.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Bar owners in North Carolina are feeling relief after membership rules were lifted. Bar owners told WCNC Charlotte a bill signed by Governor Roy Cooper will cut down on time and money spent to run their businesses. 

Normally when you walk into certain bars in North Carolina, you'd have to provide the establishment with your name, phone number, address and reason for visiting. The reason could not be for drinking. It was all recorded on the North Carolina ABC Commission i-Pad. 

House Bill 768 did away with that. 

WCNC Charlotte brought you this story last month, taking you back to what seemed like 1937. It was a plea by bars in that state for reform on prohibition-era policies. Michael Sharpton, the owner of the Scorpio in Charlotte, said ending the requirement of membership is a win.  

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"It's a step in the right direction on a very antiquated ABC system," he said.

HB 768 passed Thurs. July 7 in a 100-9 vote. People won't have to pay a fee and bars don't have to keep up with stacks and stacks of "unnecessary" paperwork. 

Lost & Found manager Mike Farr said he couldn't be happier. 

"We get a lot of volume all at once and being able to let them in and not having to stop them with a tablet, it’ll be great for business," Farr said.

He said customers thought the policy was confusing. 

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"People think we are just trying to get their information at the door, so we have to explain that we are not doing this by choice," Farr said. 

Both bars told WCNC Charlotte there is still a lot of change to come.

"Certainly happy hour is one of the things we are going to push for," Sharpton said.

Some lawmakers feel the lift of these restrictions might lead to irresponsible behavior and crime.

Contact Austin Walker at awalker@wcnc.com and follow him on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram.

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