Some Austin liquor stores feel 'blue law' repeal wouldn't help business
A new effort at the capitol to keep liquor stores open all week long has some Austin-area store owners speaking out, saying it wouldn’t be a good move for business.
For as long as many can remember, so-called “blue laws” have kept Texas liquor stores closed on Sunday.
“(Tourists sometimes) come to get a bottle on Sunday and they’re out of luck,” said John Meadows, owners of Wiggy’s Wine and Spirits.
Last week, State Rep. Richard Pena Raymond, (D) of Laredo, filed a bill aimed to give liquor stores the option of being open seven days a week from noon to 10 p.m.
“For a long time, I thought it didn’t make sense,” said Raymond. “If they want to open on Sunday they can, if they don’t, they don’t have to. I don’t think it’s right, however, (when) the government says we’re not going to let you open on this day or that day.”
Meadows said if the law passed and they decide to open on Sunday, it would likely be more beneficial to the consumer than the business. He feels like being open for an extra day would spread six days of business into a full week.
“It would just be another day of liquor sales that would normally go on Saturday,” said Meadows. “Generally, it’s going to spread that business to another day.”
Wiggy’s has been opened in Austin for 45 years. Meadows said their 6th Street location was one of the first to ever sell the now famous Tito’s Vodka.
Currently, 42 states allow liquor sales on Sunday. In Texas, other alcohol sales can be purchased on Sunday from retailers like bars, and restaurants, convenience stores and grocery chains.
Rep. Raymond expects his bill (HB1100) to have bipartisan support. “The Republican Party of Texas has this on their platform, to support the bill,” he said.
And the Laredo lawmaker said the state has already estimated that opening liquor stores on Sunday could bring in $4 million a year, if not more.
Rep. Raymond also filed a bill, he said is "for the working family", for all beer or ale sales to be tax-free on The Fourth of July.