New Law Allows Liquor Stores to Stay Open Later

Connecticut residents will now be able to buy alcohol a little later as people stock up for 4th of July weekend barbecues and celebrations.

Several new laws go into effect in the state today, including a liquor law that allows liquor stores to stay open until 10 p.m. instead of 9 p.m. The new legislation makes the extended hours an option, but there's no mandate for liquor stores to stay open that late.

"I'm a beer drinker, so I'll do that and maybe some wine," said John Nesko, of Middletown, who added that permitting stores to stay open later gives people the option of buying something in the spur of the moment later on.

While customers spoke to the convenience of the new law, some liquor store owners said the later hours could be dangerous.

"I don’t think it’s a good idea. We have situations now where people are shooting each other," Jay Polke, owner of Willowbrook Spirit Shop in Cromwell, said. "I don’t think people need more fuel to ignite anything after 9 o'clock."

Polke is still deciding whether to keep the store open for the extra hour because it did not help the business when the state allowed liquor stores open on Sundays.

"We knew that people weren’t going to drink more because we’re open, so it cost us more money," Polke said.

He said the state's goal to generate more tax money from later liquor sales isn't the best solution.

But Janet Nesko, of Middletown, said "it would give the customer a choice as to when they want to buy it."

Contact Us