EAST SYRACUSE, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — Governor Kathy Hochul is serving up changes to alcohol laws in New York State, including expanded hours for alcohol sales on Sundays.
Uncorked legislation has some wine and liquor store owners fired up.
“I think it’s BS, because who comes out on Sundays to 10 o’clock at night to buy wine and liquor when they have to go to work on Monday,” said Anthony Piraino, owner of Piraino’s Country Liquors.
But legislation signed on Saturday. Oct. 14 by Gov. Hochul is allowing it, with wine and liquor stores now having the option to open as early as 10 a.m. and close as late as 10 p.m. on Sundays. The bill is something Piraino doesn’t agree with.
“Basically every store is now open from noon to six o’clock, and it just doesn’t make sense. Why would you want to give us something like that, what is it going to do for us? Spend more hours to have more people, for what, for less business,” said Piraino.
Piraino says Fridays and Saturdays are the busiest, with Sunday being the slowest day of the week. The liquor store is currently opening on Sundays from noon to 7 p.m. and despite the new law, Piraino won’t be changing his hours. The same goes for Liquor World in East Syracuse.
“Sundays usually are a slow day because we already have Fridays and Saturdays that are longer, 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. So I don’t think we’re going to change it,” said Kirandeep Nafri, owner of Liquor World.
Liquor World’s hours of operation on Sunday are noon to 7 p.m. Nafri says originally the store was open from noon to 8 p.m. however, they decided to close an hour early about a year ago because business is slow on Sundays.
But its not this particular bill that has Piraino and Nafri concerned. It’s legislation that would allow wine to be sold at grocery stores.
“They’re just trying to use, they’re just trying to get wine in grocery stores that’s what I think they’re trying to do,” said Piraino.
“Everyone is going to be suffering,” said Nafri.
Forty states already sell wine on grocery store shelves. But in New York State, it can only be sold at liquor stores or wineries.
Piraino said if the legislation were to pass, he would lose about 20 to 30 percent of sales.
Both owners are hoping that legislation isn’t passed this time around.
Another part of the legislation passed on Saturday allows for beer, mead, braggot and cider to be sold any day of the week, including Sundays.
The rest of the legislation package includes:
- Extending the validity of a brewer’s license from one year to three years.
- Businesses to prepare and keep drinks containing alcohol in pressurized dispensing machines.
- Allowing retail stores to sell complementary gift and promotional items related to wine and spirit sales.
- Adding parcels of land to the list of premises which are exempt from the provisions of law, which generally restrict manufacturers/wholesalers and retailers from sharing an interest in a liquor license.
Gov. Hochul says the signed package of legislation will help to improve New York State laws related to alcohol beverages in an effort to expand options for consumers and support small businesses in the alcoholic beverage sector.