Business owners weigh-in on proposed Sunday liquor sales

KILGORE (KYTX) - A Houston lawmaker is asking the state legislature to reconsider Sunday liquor sales.

CBS 19'S Melissa Daigle went to TJ's Liquor in Kilgore to find out whether managers like the idea of being open on Sundays.

What did they say, and how would lifting the ban change Texas history?

It would require Texas to change some of its "blue laws." Those have been in place since colonial days. And, they were basically just a way to make sure workers had at least one day to rest and relax, and go to church if they'd like. Now, here in Texas, most of those laws went away by 1985, except when it comes to car dealers and liquor stores. We talked to the manager of this liquor store who says he has mixed feelings about being open on a Sunday.

"It would be nice to have a day off, but at the same time, for the business side, I would say it would be nice to have it open," Paul Im, manager of TJ's Liquor in Kilgore said.

He says opening Sundays would be more convenient for his customers, but he's not sure how much it would actually help with sales.

"It would just be evened out. There won't be that 9 o'clock rush on Saturday. It would be like oh, I've got until tomorrow to pick it up, you know. And, people won't have to sit there and premeditate their beer runs."

That's what state representative Senfronia Thompson wants if she has it her way.

"People who drink alcohol spirits on a Sunday can only go to a restaurant or a bar. And you can't say, 'By the way, give me a couple to go home.' I want to make sure that those persons are able to carry alcohol home and not worry about getting behind that steering wheel," Thompson said.

Customer Jeffrey Beehunt says selling hard liquor on Sundays should be the store owner's decision.

"It's a business. Business has to run. Talk about an economy that's failing right now. This is part of an economy," Beehunt said.

Herman Key with major retailer specs liquor warehouse says business is doing just fine, and they'll continue to keep doors closed on Sundays.

"Well, we're against it. We run a family company. And we have lots of families that work for us and we think that they should have a family day off on Sunday, so we're adamantly against it.," Key said.

Now it's up to lawmakers to make the decision.

A smiliar bill backed by another Houston lawmaker died in the last Texas Session.

Of course, whether history repeats itself is still unclear.

Last year, the Texas legislative budget board estimated changing the law to allow liquor on Sundays could generate roughly 3.7 million dollars in new tax revenue each year.


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