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Liquor board nixes extra Sunday hours


Looks at expanding package store hours to 8 p.m.



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September 18, 2011
SOUTHBRIDGE — After nobody showed up to defend the concept, the Liquor Licensing Board rejected a proposal to expand Sunday package store hours.

Chairman Rinaldo Bernardone said the idea was proposed at a previous meeting by owners of two stores who said they were concerned that neighboring towns’ longer hours were drawing away business.

Southbridge’s current hours are 12 to 5 p.m., but they wanted to shift hours later, to 8 p.m. Under state law, the maximum is 12 to 11 p.m., or 11:30 p.m. on “a Sunday that immediately precedes a legal holiday.” Until a few years ago, state “Blue Laws” prohibited Sunday liquor sales at all except between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day.

Southbridge has 11 licenses that would have been affected by such a change — four true package stores and seven convenience stores selling some beer and wine. Of them, the only one represented was Jim’s Liquor owner Govind Patel, who favored leaving the hours as they are because “people are used to it” and he personally likes the idea of being able to spend Sunday evenings with his family.

Board members told Patel he wouldn’t have to stay open later if they made the change.

For more on this story, please see tomorrow's Southbridge Evening News.

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