On the Tuesday before last, voters had their say. And now this coming Sunday, stores in the Lawrenceville city limits will be able to sell beer and wine seven days a week.
Voters went to the polls on Election Day and by nearly two to one. , and shops like may begin selling alcohol on Sunday, November 20th.
While owner Leslie Maske would like to have her shop in Downtown Lawrenceville open on Sundays, she said it’s going to take a little while before that happens. “We’ve already gotten our licenses for next year,” said Maske. “We’re trying to find out if there’s going to be an initial fee to be open on Sunday.”
Another speed bump is the fact that she and her partner Niko Patel are the stores’ only employees. “I am always here [in Lawrenceville] and he is always at our store in Snellville, so Sunday’s the only day we have off.” Maske says they are going to try opening on Sundays at their Snellville location starting on the 20th. If it goes well there, they will consider closing both shops on Mondays and being open Tuesday through Sunday instead.
, and big box retailers like are already open and fully staffed on Sundays and should not see the issues Maske and Patel will.
Jessica Vittorio of Lawrenceville and Brian Magazu of Jacksonville, FL came into Niko’s to buy a bottle of wine. “I’m excited,” said Vittorio about soon being able to buy alcohol on Sundays. “If you’re responsible, I don’t think the day of the week has anything to do with being able to buy alcohol.” Vittorio says she doesn’t often buy beer and wine, limiting her purchases primarily to , “but it’s going to be nice for a special event that you’re not going to be limited to six days a week.”
Magazu is glad Vittorio will soon have the same opportunity he does to buy alcohol. In Florida, residents are able to buy alcohol seven days a week. “Whether it’s Sunday or Tuesday, if I’m in the grocery store and I need to pick up a bottle of wine, I can’t imagine why I shouldn’t be able to do that if it’s Sunday.”
As both a shop owner and a consumer, Maske said she has always been a supporter of Sunday alcohol sales. “There are a lot of people like myself who work Monday through Saturday and usually we do our shopping on Sunday. So, unless I remember to buy it before I leave work, I don’t have it on Sunday. So I like the opportunity to be able to go out and buy a bottle of wine if I need it or a six-pack of beer.”
Maske doesn’t think having the option of being open seven days a week will increase her shop’s revenue in the end. “I think the initial Sunday there’s going to be a huge number of people who are going to go out and buy because they’ll be able to, but I think it will taper off into a regular day of the week as far as sales go.”
She does hope that by Niko’s being open on Sundays, it will bring more business to the square. “If it’s something that generates and brings in more foot traffic, I think it’s something that can definitely help get other businesses to be open on Sunday.”
Sunday alcohol sales will also . Other cities in Gwinnett including Suwanee and Dacula are waiting for their governments to officially set a date. Gwinnett County's Board of Commissioners set a date of March 6th for residents to vote on the issue in unincorporated Gwinnett.