Liquor Store Owners on New Liquor Law

Will they open on Sunday? Of course. Are they happy about it? Of course not.

The new liquor store law will cost store owners 52 days off a year, plus they will lose the two-day weekends they had on holidays, like Memorial day, a back-to-back Sunday/Monday break. Open both days now.

So why not just close if it's not worth opening?

"I have to open or my customers will start going next door," said Paul Jose Paul, owner of , 16 Great Plain Road.

Gov. Dannel Malloy, who championed this law change, said in a press release when it passed the house, "Under the current law, we lose millions of dollars over the border every Sunday.  It’s a bad policy that inconveniences consumers and makes businesses less competitive.  But after tonight, there will be an additional 55 days where sales will be permissible.  It’s a good first step," Malloy said in his release.


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For the liquor store owners, it means changes.

"I have to mow the grass and do book keeping," said Paul, of . "I'll open on Sundays and I'll just open late on Mondays."

Paul laughed at the idea Connecticut was losing millions of dollars in sales every year to people driving across the state line in a panic to buy alcohol. He said people learned over the years to buy something extra before Sunday to cover the fact the store was closed.

Paul wonders if state government figures next year or the year after will show "millions of dollars," in extra liquor store sales after the law goes into effect. He said he doubts he'll sell much on Sundays.

At , 18 White St., Maurice Samaha, who has run the shop for 30 years, said there is one customer the law will help. He said the person who wants to buy a keg for a Sunday party used to have to buy it on Saturday, keep it cold at home somehow over night, and use it on Sunday.

Now that customer can buy it cold on Sunday and use it without having to worry about how to keep it cold overnight.

"Being open on Sundays might help with those Sunday events," Samaha said. "I don't know exactly what to think, because the details aren't out yet."

The Connecticut Package Store Association opposed this bill at first, but by the end, accepted it in its toned-down version. Initially it opposed the bill, saying that adding a seventh day of sales simply spreads six days of sales over seven days. It doesn't generate new tax revenue. The association finally gave the bill its blessing.

Samaha said a problem he sees with the law is staffing the store on Sunday or on a Monday holiday.

"My staff have young children. They want to be home on Sunday," Samaha said.

Samaha said he spent most of the last 30 Memorial Day holiday weekends in Boston with family and friends attending a Boston Red Sox game and eating out in Boston restaurants.

"A couple of days ago, I was saying to myself, I'm off for a holiday in three weeks," Samaha said, "and then I said, 'Or will I?'"

David Andrew April 30, 2012 at 01:18 PM
Completely false Tommy. Before this law, the only option was getting in a car, driving to a bar or restaurant, drinking there and then driving home. Now, we can drink at home like the residents of 48 other states.
Eric Traska April 30, 2012 at 01:27 PM
We live in a capitalistic society, what this boils down to is.....if you can't afford to make a go of it in your chosen business.....get out, do something else. Sure it's tough(BTW I'm working on my masters degree in a totally different field from my bachelors degree). Save me the whining, the adverse reaction to change is whats killing this country....
Peter S April 30, 2012 at 05:34 PM
What a joke!
Paul Ricard April 30, 2012 at 06:41 PM
I've never heard any other business talk of only whats in it for them, rather than what the customer wants. If the customer wants to buy on Sunday, either be open on Sunday or find another line of work!Sorry we, the paying public, are infringing on your time off!
Alex April 30, 2012 at 09:23 PM
So when Massachusetts allowed Sunday liquor sales, did they see a rise in DUIs? Did all the package stores close down because of increased costs or competition? That's what I thought...
PJ May 01, 2012 at 11:59 AM
Paul...because all these years the liquor stores and distributors have had the state protecting them, guaranteeing them a mark up (what other business can say that?) and now that they need to be "normal", they are all upset that they may actually need to run and manage their business! The state is STILL giving them their Minimum mark-ups though! For all the store owners crying about their business won't increase...too damn bad! Forty eight other states care enough about their citizens....48 other states have PROVEN time and time again that Sunday is the 2nd busiest shopping day of the week. You've had your silly Lobby Group lying to the peopple of CT for years about reality. If you don't like the new law, sell your business and do something else. I think grocery stores should be able to sell wine, beer and liquor...liquor stores should be able to sell food. Stop treating alcohol like it's AIDS!
PJ May 01, 2012 at 01:24 PM
Tommy: Please...what does selling alcohol on Sundays have to do with DWI's? You obviously are a CT liquor store owner!
Tommy Keenan May 01, 2012 at 03:19 PM
Carl May 01, 2012 at 06:38 PM
So people being able to buy alcohol to drink at home, as opposed to only being able to buy it at restaurants or out of state will INCREASE DUIs?
Dave Bonan May 02, 2012 at 08:01 PM
it all boils down to quantifying everything on this planet.
Douglas McDowall May 07, 2012 at 08:27 PM
Let the existing liquor stores be the sole outlets for medical marijuana once it becomes legal & I doubt if you'll hear ant more bitching about Sunday hours.
mike kilgore May 08, 2012 at 05:48 AM
Can you see a lawyer, go to the bank, buy a car, go to your doctor, go to any city, state or federal office on Sunday. See not all services and goods are available on Sunday so what is the difference if a business wishes to be closed and not sell a legalized drug on Sunday is it any different. It is not the Sunday sale to the responsible drinker but to the irresponsible drinker that does not have a server or bartender to shut them down on Sunday at home from having another one. NO, he is the one that will get into his car and drive drunk to go buy more alcohol to consume on Sunday and maybe kill or hurt someone doing it. Just open your eyes.


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