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Not everyone embracing Sunday liquor store bill

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Posted: Thursday, January 24, 2013 12:00 am

SEGUIN — A bill has been introduced in the Texas Legislature to allow liquor stores to stay open on Sunday, but store managers and owners are not supporting it.

State Rep. Senfronia Thompson, D-Houston, filed House Bill 421 on Jan. 9. If passed by both houses of the Legislature and signed into law by the governor, the bill will allow liquor stores in Texas to be open from noon to 10 p.m. on Sunday.

Since before the adoption of Prohibition, Texas liquor stores have been required to close on Sunday.

“I think it sucks,” said Mark Moore, manager of Zella’s Liquors, 1052 E. Kingsbury in Seguin. “I’m not going to do it,” Moore said about staying open on Sundays if the bill becomes law.

Thompson’s bill also proposes to increase the hours liquor stores are allowed to be open on the other days of the week. Currently, they can be open from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday-Saturday. HB 421 adds two hours to the schedule, authorizing the stores to be open from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday-Saturday.

Moore had the same comment about the longer hours: “I’m not going to do it.”

Like other liquor store owners and managers across the state, Moore said opening on Sunday will increase costs more than it increases sales.

“In other states, it’s been done,” he said. “They had a 6 percent increase in sales, but it cost another 17 percent in labor and time.”

Since 2002, 14 states have repealed bans on Sunday liquor sales including neighbors New Mexico, Arkansas, Louisiana and Mexico. Sunday liquor sales currently are allowed in 36 states.

Moore isn’t the only store operator who has no plans to open on Sundays if the law is changed.

“I ain’t gonna do it,” said Velma Biltjinitis, owner of Pooter’s Liquor Store, 4110 N. Highway 46. “I am not going to open on Sundays — absolutely not.”

She said changing the law is being pushed by distributors and politicians and not by liquor store owners, managers and employees.

“I wish we had to close on Sunday and Monday,” Biltjinitis said. “It (opening on Sunday) is not going to help my business.”

Regarding the extended hours, she said she definitely wouldn’t start opening earlier. “We don’t open until 12 o’clock during the week anyway,” Biltjinitis said.

She seemed less certain about whether or not to take advantage of the bill’s extending closing time from 9 p.m. to 10 p.m.

“You can get what you want before 9 o’clock,” Biltjinitis said. However, she conceded that it might be helpful to some of her customers if the store stayed open until 10 p.m.

In Texas, more than 35,000 restaurants are allowed to sell alcohol for on-premises consumption on Sunday. Beer and wine sales for off-premises consumption are allowed at supermarkets and convenience stores after noon on Sunday. Only the state’s 2,460 liquor stores are prohibited from opening their doors on Sunday.

Similar legislation failed to go anywhere during the 2011 session of the Legislature. State Sen. Rodney Ellis, D-Houston, and State Rep. Jose Aliseda, R-Beeville, filed companion bills that would have allowed liquor stores to open on Sunday, but both bills were pending in committees when the 2011 session ended.

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Welcome to the discussion.


  • David Lee posted at 9:03 pm on Thu, Jan 24, 2013.

    David Lee Posts: 398


    I deplore the common use of profanity in inappropriate settings; it's rare to sit through a restaurant meal without hearing back alley language.
    But, your delicate sensibilities must be shocked every few seconds.

  • VoiceofReason posted at 8:35 pm on Thu, Jan 24, 2013.

    VoiceofReason Posts: 25

    State involvement in when and where any type of alcohol may be sold is a relic of the prohibition era that should be eliminated. The process wastes precious taxpayer dollars and has no appreciable value to society.

    As an aside, tasteful editing of interview quotes would be appreciated. Unless direct quotes are critically important, course language ("it s*cks") and poor grammar ("I ain't gonna do it") should be paraphrased. To not do so gives the impression that the community is uneducated and profane.

  • Beckett posted at 8:07 pm on Thu, Jan 24, 2013.

    Beckett Posts: 1

    WHO CARES!!! Do we not have more important things going on?? Let them stay open 24 hours a day............. the owners can make there own choice!

  • Reader1 posted at 10:12 am on Thu, Jan 24, 2013.

    Reader1 Posts: 47

    I have never understood the Sunday law. Let any store be open if and when they want to. If the store chooses to close on Sunday, let them decide. Otherwise, like was mentioned before ... the legislators need to move on to more important business.

  • jdh1992 posted at 10:00 am on Thu, Jan 24, 2013.

    jdh1992 Posts: 107

    Wow..I can see the legislators are working hard on the difficult stuff...

  • shortstick posted at 8:07 am on Thu, Jan 24, 2013.

    shortstick Posts: 288

    I guess I'm from the old school, I don't think all busines's need to be open seven days a week. Get your stuff for Sunday on another week day. Stock up or plan ahead.

  • PeggyH posted at 7:20 am on Thu, Jan 24, 2013.

    PeggyH Posts: 408

    Business owners know which hours and which days are their busiest. Store hours are posted accordingly. It's nice that they can establish their hours to have the doors open. No one will be twisting arms to make a shopper buy a product or service. Beer and wine is available in grocery and convenience stores on Sunday afternoons. That doesn't mean I have to walk down that isle. Times change and laws that are on the books should be reviewed and updated periodically. What amazes me is the old "blue law" that prohibits a dealer from selling cars/trucks seven days in a row.

  • retiredinlavernia posted at 4:45 am on Thu, Jan 24, 2013.

    retiredinlavernia Posts: 24

    Never have understood the laws. In a country with separation of church and state Sunday is just another day on the calendar - No different than Tuesday