ZEELAND, Mich. (WOOD) — On a cold November night, jubilant patrons crowded into the bar and hoisted a glass. It wasn’t 1933 in Anytown, USA — it was 2007 in Zeeland, Michigan.

A year earlier, the town had voted to end Zeeland’s prohibition on alcohol sales. Now, 15 years after the first drink was poured, five establishments sell or serve liquor, including downtown icon Frank’s Restaurant.

“They are receiving it really well. We are having a lot of fun with it. We are enjoying six nights a week now,” owner Teresa Vander Zwaag said.

Vander Zwaag expanded the 99-year-old restaurant, known for its traditional breakfast and lunch menu, to a building to the east last summer.

“Same menu, same grill, just with alcohol optional on Frank’s East Side,” Vander Zwaag said.

The 2006 vote to lift the alcohol sales ban won by a slim 40-vote margin. Zeeland City Manager Tim Klunder said the community seems to have accepted liquor sales since then.

“We did see an uptick in activity in the downtown area when we stated to have restaurants that were open in the evening hours because they could offer other options,” Klunder said. “I would also give a lot of credit to our existing license holders. They’ve done a really good job of respecting the community’s values.”

But you still won’t find anyone offering alcohol sales on Sundays in Zeeland. A Sunday liquor sales ban is the one rule the city kept in place. State record show Zeeland remains one of four Ottawa County communities to stick with dry Sundays.

But there’s talk in Zeeland of changing that rule. Recently, a liquor store owner brought the calendar to the attention of city council members. Christmas and News Years Eves, two busy nights for bars, restaurants, and liquor stores, fall on Sundays in 2023.

The state doesn’t allow a community to change liquor sales laws for just one day, so it’s all Sundays or no Sundays.

The city council has told Klunder to do some research on the idea and get back to them.

“They said they would be willing to explore the possibility of Sunday sales,” Klunder said. “We started to do some research now on what other communities do just to gather that information. Once we gather all of that information, we’ll bring it back to city council. Should they want to go forward, then what well do is have a public hearing at some point. Honestly, we don’t have any time frame was to when that decision may be made.”

Among those the city wants to hear from are those businesses that sell alcohol to find out if they’re even interested in staying open on Sundays year around. There’s no sense in changing the ordinance if places that serve or sell don’t intend to take advantage of Sunday hours.

While she supports the idea of Sunday liquor sales, Vander Zwaag said she’ll stay closed.

“I think that would be way of looking at and approaching business down here. I think that would be great,” Vander Zwaag said. “We would choose to stay closed on Sundays so we can protect Sunday for our employees and for just the nature of what Frank’s stands for. “