Columbia Co. to vote on Sunday alcohol sales after Grovetown success

By: Katie Beasley Email
By: Katie Beasley Email

News 12 at 6 o'clock / Thursday, July 19, 2012

EVANS, Ga. -- For the last seven months, stores in Grovetown have been able to sell alcohol on Sundays, so is it worth it? We asked them.

GT Package Store owner Peter Lee says when he first opened the doors on Sunday in December, business was booming.

"It was crazy, actually. I got lots of people in here. People were lined up, it was like Christmas," Lee said.

Since Richmond County passed the same law, things have slowed down some.

"I did okay for about six months, I still do OK; but things kind of leveled off," Lee said.

Voters will now decide whether or not to allow Sunday sales throughout all of Columbia County.

"I voted yes; I want that tax money to be going to the schools in Columbia County, and if we don't pass it, people will be traveling to Richmond County," said Evans voter Theresa Thompson.

But not everyone is cheers-ing to the idea and some store owners say they don't even plan to open that extra day.

"We're not going to open, as of now ... I may eat my words, but as of now, no," said Allan Barrett, the owner of Toast Wine and Beverage in Evans. "I think it's going to spread sales over seven days versus six, and I just don't see the need to do it."

And Lee doesn't blame them. He says his one day off was cut down to just a few hours on Sunday.

"You know what, I totally understand because opening seven days a week kind of takes a toll on you," he said.

"Would think they would want the revenues," Thompson said.

But it's a decision that's up to voters like you.

"Yeah, I think it will pass just to keep up with the Joneses, to keep up with Richmond County and Grovetown," Barrett said.

But of course, there's always two sides to every coin.

"It's just going to be everywhere, so I don't see a big boom in business," Barrett said.

"Is it worth opening on Sunday? Yeah, for me it is. You can't change the change, all you have to do is adapt to new change and just work harder," Lee said.

Lee also acknowledges he will lose customers from Evans and Martinez if voters say yes.

Advanced voting is going on right now. Everyone else heads to the polls on July 31st.

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