Officials in a southern New Jersey resort community where alcohol sales have been banned for decades have voted against letting restaurant patrons bring their own wine or beer to have with a meal.
But yesterday’s vote by the Ocean City Council sets up a ballot battle over the issue, which will be decided by a referendum in the May election.
The ordinance that was rejected would have allowed BYOB drinking in restaurants–except for those on the boardwalk.
BYOB supporters have gathered enough petition signatures to place the matter on the May 8 election ballot.
Ocean City was founded as a Methodist retreat in the 1800s.
Backers say BYOB is needed to attract more business to eateries, while opponents fear the family-friendly atmosphere of Ocean City would disappear.