The New Year has arrived and with it for those in Smyrna, the ability to purchase alcohol in stores on Sundays.
Jonquil City voters approved the measure in November, while voters in unincorporated Cobb will cast their ballots on Sunday alcohol sales in the presidential primary election in March.
The new law allows liquor stores, grocery stores, gas stations and drug stores to sell packaged alcohol between 12:30 and 11:30 p.m. on Sundays.
Still, the new law didn’t necessarily mean that Smyrna package store owners have been rushing to unlock the doors for business. A small sampling of package stores found that only Spring Road Package Store planned to be open today. A representative said the store would be open for business beginning at 12:30 p.m.
Reps from Busy Bees Package Store and Century Package Store indicated they were still trying to decide. Meanwhile, Smyrna World of Beverage will wait until Sunday, Jan. 15 before giving Sunday sales a try.
Many store owners are unsure whether the sales numbers will be worth opening the extra day each week. That’s the case at Smyrna Liquors, where proprietor Manisha Patel said that beginning on Jan. 8, the store will be open on Sundays from 12:30 – 6 p.m. on a trial basis.
“If it costs us more to stay open on Sundays, then we won’t do it,’’ Patel said. “We’ll test it for about a month.’’
The store has been open for about two decades and Patel said some of her regular customers were looking forward to having the extra day to make purchases.
“Some are excited, but others have said that they’re in such a routine of buying on Saturday and other days that they’ll just keep doing that,’’ she said.
In Smyrna, there are 47 businesses eligible to applfor a Sunday alcohol sales license, which costs $500 each for liquor, beer or wine.