Sunday sales for wine, liquor can start this weekend

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - It's official: Gov. Bill Haslam has signed the bill allowing for wine and liquor sales on Sunday in Tennessee.

The bill goes into effect immediately--meaning liquor stores can sell the alcohol to you this Sunday. However, grocery stores will not be able to sell wine or liquor on Sunday until January 1, 2019.

Even though the new law takes effect immediately, don't look for many Memphis-area liquor stores to be open this Sunday.

At Kirby Wines and Liquors, General Manager Philip Forman says they're not exactly popping bubbly at the thought of selling booze on Sundays now.

"Well the initial reaction is, it's a bummer because labor costs go up," Forman said. "The cost of doing business goes up, but we're not necessarily gaining business."

To give management time to figure out staffing, Kirby Wines will open Sunday, April 29 from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.

It's the same story at Joe's Wines and Liquors, where the plan is to open next Sunday, but the hours of operation are still to be determined.

Buster's, the largest liquor store in town, has no plans to open on Sunday anytime soon, possibly not until this summer.

Tip Top Liquor on Madison Avenue will open this Sunday, but the manager said some of his guys will be working 7 days now, with no day off.

Customers, on the other hand, welcome the change to Tennessee's law.

"I'm very excited," said Yolanda Collins. "It's going to be a good thing.  I've been to other states where you can buy liquor on Sundays and it's great!"

"As long as people drink in moderation, like they do the rest of the week, then drinking alcohol on Sundays is fine," said Wayne Duncan. "Aint' nothing wrong with a little wine with your dinner."

But for Forman, who's been in the liquor store business for 21 years, working on Sundays will take some getting used to.

"We'll come in with smiles on our faces and ready to get at it," Forman said.

Most liquor store owners didn't want this new law, but grocery stores fought for it.  However, grocery stores won't be able to start Sunday wine and liquor sales until January 2019.

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