November 21, 2004

Curious George: Sunday Boozin'? Just walked by my neighborhood liquor store... and it's open? Not just for wine, but harder spirits too... Anyone else in NYC/other big cities notice this phenomenon? Or do you live in a dry town...
  • It appears that after 12 PM on Sunday, all alcoholic drinks are available for sale. I've lived without the liquor store for many years, and was a little surprised to see one open. I know beer was availabe at delis/supermarkets after noon in the past, but the liquor store? Just weird I tells ya... weird...
  • I'm surprised that you're surprised. I've never lived anywhere that you couldn't buy liquor on Sunday, I always assumed that was only true in Baptist-dominated towns.
  • In college (in Ohio), packaged alcohol couldn't be sold on Sundays, but it could be sold until 1 a.m. the rest of the week. The 24-hour grocery store in town sold beer and this left us with the "beer window" from midnight to 1am Monday.
  • I work as a clerk in a quik-mart here in AZ. we don't have a hard liquor license, but we have sold beer/wine every day i have worked there, including sunday and election day...
  • I wish they would do one of these maps for the entire United States. It would paint an interesting picture.
  • A lot of older parts of Texas towns are dry, but they run up against newer areas that are wet. The area I just moved out of in Houston was dry and had been since Prohiobition. However, it was only one tiny neighborhood that was dry; the grocery store was a mile from my house and fully stocked with wine and beer. In non-dry parts of Texas, you can sell after noon on Sundays. At the Texas Renaissance Festival, they shoot off a cannon that you can hear throughout the grounds at noon to announce the availability of beer. Even in dry areas, it's possible for restaurants to get club licenses. Normally you join the club for $5 and get a coupon back for one drink. In Dallas there's a unified club membership that's affiliated with a lot of restaurant clubs. My husband has a membership to this (again, nominal cost, got a coupon back for a drink). A cafe in the dry part of the Heights in Houston decided it wanted to become a club so it could offer wine. My husband and I bought $10 memberships, but the Baptist Temple around the corner fought it and the cafe, which had closed for remodeling, never reopened. We got our membership fees back, though. (Houston people: this was the Kaldi Cafe on 19th.)
  • Also in Norman, Oklahoma when I lived there, you could not buy any alcohol anywhere on Sunday, period. Not sure about the rest of the state, but I was under the impression it was the same. Here in Austin you can buy beer/wine on Sunday, but the liquor stores are shut tight. Not sure about the bars though, or if you can get a whiskey there.
  • Debaser626, don't git me started. I live in Minnesota, which has draconian liquor laws thanks to the so-lofty-they-shat-marble nature of the Scandinavian religious exiles who settled the place. Beer and wine are not sold in grocery stores, only in liquor stores. (Oh sure, you can buy 3.2 at the quickie mart, but that ain't beer.) Liquor stores close at 8pm on weeknights. Fridays and Saturdays they're open until 10pm, and they're closed all day Sundays. Last year the state finally passed a law to let bars stay open until 2 am. Before that it was 1 am. Many bars close at 1 anyway because they have to pay extra on their license to stay open the extra hour.
  • You... what? Man, I thought our Sunday opening and licensing laws were daft. But, heck, at least we can usually get drink.
  • Minnesota's liquor laws suck. At least the booze, when you do get it, isn't expensive or anything. Neither are the cigarettes, unlike many states.
  • Back home in Nevada, You can get booze any day, any time. You can get it free, as long as you're dropping a nickel into a black jack machine every once in a while. (Tip your cocktail waitress, please)
  • Rhode Island just started selling beer and liquor on Sundays. At first I thought I'd like it, but then I realized I stood to lose a fortune selling beer out of my fridge to the neighbors on the one day the packy was closed. Bummer.
  • ha! I live in california, where you can buy alcohol in a convenience store at a gas station ON THE FREEWAY. beer anyway. seriously. grew up in nj, where you have to go to a "liquor store" to buy booze, so the california availability of grog at all supermarkets, convenience stores etc., is so exciting.
  • Rolypolyman, that's a great map. I need to bookmark that! Medusa, I'm in Jersey City, and there's a "liquor" store in the back of the Shop Rite. It's a bit weird, but not too much, considering I'd go to the liquor store for anything better than cooking wine anyway when I lived in Texas.
  • Doesn't Massachusetts, that bastion of liberal immorality, still have blue laws?
  • Psyched! I just noticed this too (Greenpoint, Brooklyn)... I remember that last year some time they changed the law so that liquor stores could be open on Sundays, but still could NOT be open 7 days a week (so, they'd have to close up shop on Tuesdays or whatever in order to open on Sunday). But none of my local stores were open on Sundays. Then, google tells me, as of August 23rd they repealed the 6 day law completely. Legal Sunday hours are noon to nine. My local liquor stores just started opening on Sundays sometime in the past few weeks though... side note one: in NYC you can buy beer and wine at grocery stores and delis, but hard liquor only at a liquor store. side note two: my wife, from southern California, grew up saying 'the liquor store' when she meant 'generic 7-11 type store'. This lead to me getting a really bizzare and inaccurate impression of her formative years, what with all the time she spent in the liquor store. side note three: Where I grew up, in southeastern Massachusetts, you called the liquor store the 'package store', or 'the packy'. The fact that there is a grevious racial slur that is an exact homonym to this led to many uncomfortable situations and misunderstandings when friends of mine went to college. Not me though, I learned from their innocent mistakes.
  • Hey Debaser, the liquor store in my NYC hood is open on Sunday too. I think several months ago they passed an ordinance in the city stating that liquor stores could remain open on Sundays, but would have to be closed another day. Mine is closed on Monday. I used to live in TN where some counties were completely dry. Including (ironically), Lynchburg where the Jack Daniels distillery is. You can tour the place, but you can't buy any booze.
  • i don't remember the day but i do remember buying beer at the A&P in union square at 16, in line behind a 10 yr old or an extremely short youthful legally aged person with velcro sneakers
  • Hey shinything, when I moved from St. Paul to the suburbs I was astounded to learn that the liquor stores stay open until 10 PM during the week. So, if you need a fix on a school night after 8PM, cruise on over to North St. Paul.
  • I live in North Carolina, and on Sundays it is not legal to speak to Jews until 2:00pm.
  • Massachusetts has permitted Sunday liquor sales since the first of this year. For a couple of years previously there was some experimentation with allowing Sunday sales close to state borders; all surrounding states were "wet" on Sunday and MA liquor store owners had complained that their customers would just drive to the neighboring state.
  • Forgot to mention that it's up to individual towns whether to permit Sunday liquor sales. I have no idea how many have chosen not to.
  • in the eastern suburbs of melbourne, between camberwell and box hill, there is the dry area (mostly settled by bloody Presbyterians and Wesleyans in the early part of the C20th) where you can, if you so desire, buy a packaged alcoholic drink product (say a six pack of beer) in a bottle shop, and take it home. However, if that bottle shop has a license to have tables outside and serve snacks, you may sit, eat, and unpackage your prepurchased liquor and drink it. On the street and all. On one major shopping/dining strip, Burke Rd, in camberwell, you must BYO to restaurants on the eastern side of the road, but can buy a drink at a bar on the western side of the road. In brunsiwck, you can go to a pub, buy a drink, then run outside to the street brawl and smash it over someone's head. Now that's progress!
  • cabingirl, w00t! Fanks! (one of my friends actually makes the trek to WI on Sundays for a little liquor shopping. A gal's gotta do what a gal's gotta do...)
  • Here in Idaho, yes Idaho, not Iowa, The beer and wine is in the grocery store with the liquor in the liquor stores which close a 7 pm and all day sunday boooooooooooooooooooooo :(
  • RolyPolyman, If you'll notice Those wet countiesa t the bottom.... All went to kerry. Odd. Cheers from NYC. I love being able to buy beer at all hours. I just wish the liquor store didn't close so often. you'd think we could vote someone into office to change that.... Wait for 2006. It'll be the central issue on my platform. As well as stupendous amounts of funding for narwhal reanimation.
  • Here in Iowa, yes Iowa, all types of alcohol can be purchased at grocery stores till 2AM, 7 days a week. Take that Idaho :)
  • bernockle: hah! Top this: in Nova Scotia there wasn't Sunday shopping at all. Actually, that's a bit misleading. You could go to a restaurant, to the corner store, to the pharmacy, to the book store, and to the casino, but not grocery stores or Canadian Tire or malls. Drove us mad, it did. Of course, you could drive over to the Keith's cold beer store in Dartmouth, and buy beer. Even though the other liquor stores were closed. I never understood all of this - I get the day off thing, but why should some workers be privileged over others? Here in Ontario they still only got rid of the Lord's Day Act mandating most Sunday closings in 1990. So... We can only buy liquor in government-owned stores, though in NS they had a few private wine stores allowed to open up. Though a lot of the grocery stores there had a liquor store right inside, and here it's often very close by. In Quebec, you can buy it at any old dep (corner store). They're a bit cooler than us.
  • As you've noticed when walking by your local liquor store, NY state recently extended their legal days and hours of operation for liquor stores. Counties can set their own hours and days, but NYC follows state law. It is also my understanding that they can now stock the shelves after hours which was something they couldn't do before due to prohibition era laws.
  • livii: You can't buy hard liquor in d├ępanneurs (corner stores) in Quebec unless they're SAQ agents, which very few are outside of small villages. Although with the current SAQ strike, agents are probably your best bet. You can, however, get beer & cheap wine (d├ępanneur wine) from 8 am 'till 11 pm every day. SAQ stores are open everyday, but have more restrictive hours. What makes us cooler than the ROC is the majority age (at 18, it's all the booze you want) and the closing time (3 am). And the fact that the former is somewhat laxly enforced.
  • Pennsylvania, USA. All hard liquor is sold by the state. Commonwealth. Whatever. Non-hard liquor is only sold by designated warehouse stores and in bars. Nothing alcoholic in any "normal" stores (supermarkets, etc.) - ever. If I drank in any appreciable quantity, I'd probably be kind of annoyed by this. We love you, starchy colonial Quaker types. Really.
  • Yea, Wurwilf, when I was in college in Philly it was easier to get liquor than beer, because it was hard to even find beer except at a bar. The state store, on the other hand, served nearly anyone without question. I always thought that was odd.
  • Ah yes, Richer, I realized afterwards I'd worded that badly. Still, being able to buy beer at the dep is pretty cool. :)
  • Ohio has dilutted hard liquor in grocery stores, which I find just weird that there is enough demand that alcohol producers would make it. And South Carolina only has minibottles like the kind on airplanes.