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Forsyth County: Liquor sales on Sunday not a boon, owners say



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Venkate Katragadda works the register at Georgia Liquor Barn. He said business on Sunday has been sporadic. ALDO NAHED/Staff. (click for larger version)

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August 14, 2012
FORSYTH COUNTY, Ga. — For Linda Miller, of Cumming, allowing liquor stores to open on Sunday was a "brilliant" idea.

"We brought enough Yankees here to change the law," Miller joked. "I'd never thought I'd see the day they would change it."

And although it's been convenient for drinkers, stores that sell alcohol have had mixed results.

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Ever since voters in Forsyth approved the Sunday sales of alcohol, many local vendors who sell beer and wine have not seen a spike in business — just more expenses.

Beginning March 18, liquor stores in the county were given the green light to sell alcohol on Sundays.

At the Beverage World-Cumming, 745 Lanier 400 Parkway, closing the doors on Sunday is no longer an option.

With competing supermarkets and convenience stores, places that sell liquor say they need any competitive edge they can get.

"It's been kind of busy, but it has been stealing business from Saturday night," said a Beverage World employee, who did not want to give his name. "People would come in on Saturday night for the things they wanted on Sunday. We are getting the same amount of sales and it's just more hours we have to be open."

At Georgia Liquor Barn, 3620 Hutchinson Road in Cumming, business has been "so, so."

"Sometimes it's okay, sometimes it's not," said Bobby Nara, an employee at the Liquor Barn. "Sunday people are resting, but for at least a couple hours on Sunday, we're all right."

Sunday alcohol can be sold between the hours of 12:30 p.m. and 11:30 p.m., but that was not always the case in Georgia, which was the last Southern state to hold a statewide all-day ban on Sunday alcohol sales in package or grocery stores.

Voters in the county approved the sale of alcohol on Sundays by 70 percent.

Alcohol sales on Christmas Day are still prohibited under county code. During election days, alcohol can only be sold by outlets that are not located within 250 feet of a polling place.

Mike Yi, owner of the Cumming Beverage Mart, 1770 Buford Highway, said being open on Sunday is a necessity, not an option. He said in addition to seeing slower Saturday numbers, his Monday sales have also declined.

"It's convenient to the customer, but it's not really increasing our customers," Yi said. "We do have some business on Sunday and it's actually better than Monday most weeks."

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