Columbia residents will be able to buy beer and liquor earlier than usual on Sundays if the city council approves an ordinance designed to make city code comply with a new state law.
The council at its regular meeting Tuesday night will introduce the ordinance, which would allow stores to sell liquor on Sundays between 9 a.m. and midnight. Previously, state law prohibited Sunday liquor sales before 11 a.m.
State Rep. Vicky Riback Wilson, D-Columbia, voted in favor of Senate Bill 298, saying the new hours are a matter of convenience and fairness.
“The previous hours were a burden on stores because they had to block off certain items of merchandise,” Wilson said. “If the products are legal, it doesn’t make sense to have arbitrary hours to sell them.”
Regeb Mavrakis, manager of Southside Liquor at 405 S. Providence Road, says the new law means very little to him. For about a year, Southside Liquor has not opened on Sundays.
“We are closed on Sundays to spend time with our family,” Mavrakis said. “We didn’t sell much on Sundays except for milk, bread, groceries and cigarettes. Rarely would someone buy liquor before 3 or 4 p.m.”
Beverly Basnett, manager of the Break Time convenience store at 2402 Paris Road, is unsure whether the new law will have any effect.
“It’s not going to make that much difference,” Basnett said. “We don’t do a whole lot of business on Sunday mornings anyway. Our business is usually better in the afternoon.”
The city council will also consider several other amendments to comply with state law. Those include:
The council will meet at 7 p.m. Tuesday in its chambers on the fourth floor of the Daniel Boone Building, 701 E. Broadway.