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Westport Liquor Merchants Value Sundays Off

Sundays are a sacred day of sorts for liquor store owners like Joe Damien of the International Wine Shop on Post Road East in Westport. It's the one day out of the week he doesn't have to work.

That's one of the reasons he's not thrilled that state Rep. Kathy Tallarita, D-Enfield, is looking to repeal the ban on Sunday liquor sales. "We deserve at least one day off," said Joe, a co-owner of the store. "We have families and lives outside of the store. And after six days of breaking our backs, we need some time for ourselves."

But that's not the only reason Joe said he's "100 percent against" the proposal. According to Tallarita, Sunday liquor sales would create more revenue for the state. And Gov. Daniel Malloy, who said he would sign the bill if it passes the state's General Assembly, agreed.

But Joe said that being open on Sundays wouldn't make a big difference in revenue. In fact, he said instead of generating more money, he would be losing money.

"At the end of the day, it's not going to work in our favor because we'll have to pay people to work and spend more money on our electricity bill," he said.

Over at Saugatuck Grain & Grape across the street from the train station, owners Jeff Marron and Mimi McLaughlin not only shared Joe's sentiment, they also said they don't foresee Sundays as being busy.

"There won't be more business. Business will only be stretched out over the weekend," said Jeff, who has been working in the industry for 18 years. "So in the end, the numbers will be the same."

If the state is looking to generate more revenue from liquor sales, Mimi said, "there are more creative ways," including allowing shop owners to host parties and classes.

Jeff Vannart, a customer at International Wine Shop, said he doesn't think liquor stores need to be open on Sundays because people are used to buying what they need ahead of time.

"It'll just be a bonus day for forgetful people, which will be great for them," he said.

Would you like to see the ban against Sunday liquor sales repealed? Tell us why below!

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