Kennesaw, Smyrna to join Acworth in allowing Sunday sales
by Lindsay Field
lfield@mdjonline.com
December 30, 2011 12:00 AM | 20633 views | 16 16 comments | 13 13 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Owner Mahesh Patel restocks his shelves at Acworth Tobacco & Liquor on Thursday. The store is now open seven days a week. On New Year’s Day, Kennesaw and Smyrna will join Acworth in allowing Sunday sales. Voters in each of the three cities approved their respective measures on Nov. 8<br>Jon-Michael Sullivan
Owner Mahesh Patel restocks his shelves at Acworth Tobacco & Liquor on Thursday. The store is now open seven days a week. On New Year’s Day, Kennesaw and Smyrna will join Acworth in allowing Sunday sales. Voters in each of the three cities approved their respective measures on Nov. 8
Jon-Michael Sullivan
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MARIETTA — Stores in three Cobb cities will be able to sell alcohol on Sundays on New Year’s Day, but some merchants aren’t anticipating a flood of business.

“There was a little sales boost, but not a lot,” said Anand Patel with Acworth Tobacco and Liquor off Cowan Road in Acworth, where Sunday sales have been allowed since Dec. 1.

On New Year’s Day, Kennesaw and Smyrna will join Acworth in allowing Sunday sales. Voters in each of the three cities approved their respective measures on Nov. 8.

Voters in unincorporated Cobb and the cities of Austell, Powder Springs and Marietta will cast their ballots on the matter in the presidential primary election on March 6.

The new law allows grocery stores, gas stations, liquor stores and drug stores to sell packaged alcohol between 12:30 and 11:30 p.m. on Sundays if approved by voters.

The extra day of sales hasn’t yet boosted business as much as Patel had hoped, however.

“I expected it to be a little busier,” Patel said. “We are getting there though. The more people that start to know about it, the more it’s going to help us, I guess.”

One thing that Patel said he has noticed since Sunday sales went into effect is an increase in new customers.

“We’ve been really seeing a lot of new faces,” he said. “I haven’t seen any of them before.”

The Acworth store is open on Sundays between 12:30 and 7:30 p.m.

One Smyrna store plans to test Sunday sales for a month, but won’t start immediately. Dustin Desautell, a cashier with Smyrna Liquors off Spring Road in south Cobb, said the store will try opening on Sunday for the month of January, but not until Jan. 8 so that employees can have New Year’s Day off.

“We’re not sure how well it’s going to do because we predicted that it will take away from our Saturday sales,” he said Wednesday. “We’re not even sure if we’ll sell enough products to even be open on that day.”

Desautell said the store owners will determine if the sales numbers are worth opening the extra day each week when the month-long trial is over.

“We’ve heard from other counties … that it’s diminishing their Saturday sales,” he said. “(Customers) think about Sundays so they don’t come in on Saturdays as much.”

Craig Maske, a general manager with Sherlock’s Purveyor of Fine Wines, Spirits and Beers, said he is in favor of whatever voters decide in regards to Sunday alcohol sales.

The company is already selling alcohol on Sundays at its store in Decatur, where the law went into effect Nov. 27, and expects to start at its Atlanta location Sunday. It has two locations in unincorporated Cobb County, near Kennesaw and Marietta, and another in DeKalb County. Maske said all three of those locations would sell on Sundays if voters approve the changes in their counties.

However, Maske said he isn’t sure the extra day will translate to more business.

“(Approval) has happened during the busiest season of the year, so it’s hard to say what it’s done,” he said about the Decatur location. “The newness is going to wear off. From what I’ve read and researched, generally there hasn’t been a growth in business if alcohol can be sold on Sundays. I haven’t seen any compelling information.”

Cobb County commissioners, with the exception of Woody Thompson because he was absent, voted unanimously on Nov. 8 to put the referendum on the spring ballot. If approved, it would start June 1.

Austell’s city council voted 5-0 on Dec. 5 to place it on the ballot. If approved, Sunday alcohol sales in Austell would begin March 18.

Powder Springs’ council voted 4-1, with councilwoman Nancy Hudson opposing on religious grounds, on Nov. 21 to place the referendum on the March ballot.

City clerk Dawn Davis said Sunday alcohol sales would become effective when the elections superintendent certifies the election results, which is usually within the week after the election.

The Marietta City Council voted unanimously on Oct. 12 to place the question on the primary ballot. If passed, it would take effect in the city on March 18.

There are 23 businesses eligible to apply for the license in Kennesaw, 25 in Acworth and 47 in Smyrna. If voters approve the change, 253 businesses will be affected unincorporated Cobb County; 6 in Austell, and 85 in Marietta. Numbers for Powder Springs were not available by press time.

A Sunday alcohol sales license for the City of Acworth costs $100 each for liquor, beer or wine, $300 in Kennesaw and $500 in Smyrna. Costs for the county and cities that will be considering the vote in March have not been determined.
Comments
(16)
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Morality Reality
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January 09, 2012
First of all, just because one purchases a bottle of wine or a six pack of Bud on a Sunday does not make them a "drunk", when the identical purchase on Saturday is okay. That is ludicrous! Secondly, if one enjoys wine with dinner or a couple of beers with football why is that bad? Why do religious fanatics always try to impose their beliefs on others? We are not bad people because we drink at home in moderation. Get over yourselves and go do some good in the world instead of "preaching".
No Sunday Drinking
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January 03, 2012
there is too much drinking as is. The government should ban all drinking on Sunday including private drinking. I'm tired of people drinking on the Sabbath---the government needs to stop it, ASAP! It's against the bible!
I can't believe you
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January 08, 2012
You ARE kidding, I hope.........
Dino E
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January 03, 2012
this is good news! A lot of times I forget to stock up on beer and liquor on Saturday--now I can load up on Sunday.
Hanibal
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December 31, 2011
Thank you, Governor Deal for giving us drunks another day to buy our Alcohol.

Governor Deal, I hope you are cured of your Flu Ethics.

TRUTH HURTS
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December 30, 2011
CITY OF MARIETTA BIBLE BELT, ALWAYS FIRST TO BE LAST!
anonymous
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December 31, 2011
The city of Marietta has not had a city election like several of the the other municipalities have had since the law was passed by the state. They wisely are waiting until the Presidential primary rather than spending tax money for a special election.
Ricky Rover
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December 30, 2011
Several posters here refer to religion. Religion can be found at most any of the mainstream denominations, Catholic, Protestant, Presbyterian, Methodist, etc. Just because you believe in the God of the Bible, that does not make one a Christian. There is a huge difference between Religion and Christianity. There is no doubt in my mind that the vast majority of religious people are comfortable with alcohol, which is exactly why Sunday alcohol sales passed so easily. Learn the difference between Christianity and religion, it might just change your life forever.
Allison Knight-Khan
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December 30, 2011
Dear Ricky,

I am an Ahmadi Muslim. We do not drink alcohol. That is part of our religion. I also believe that other people who enjoy a closeness to God are more interested in being spiritual and less interested in being able to drink seven days a week.

Alcohol prevents communication with God. If you choose alcohol, you cannot expect to get closer to your Creator.

Voting for alcohol was the wrong decision. I am very disappointed that this law passed.

RL Brain
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December 30, 2011
The fact these comments cast this issue in terms of religion is precisely the problem - we don't need nor do we want your religion (no matter which religion is is) to tell the rest of us what to do.
A Taxpayer
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December 30, 2011
"anonymous," why don't you get off your sanctimonious recovery-sobriety high horse. Just because you can't handle your liquor doesn't mean that those of us who drink responsibly, who want a bottle of wine to entertain unexpected Sunday guests shouldn't be able to go out and get one when we want to. "Barney Drunk," tell me where in the Bible it says Jesus refused to drink wine, or serve it at social events.
Booze Freedom = USA
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December 30, 2011
That's funny, I could have sworn I lived in the US where we have the freedom of religion and choice. Huh, silly me. This vote just increases freedom and ya'll against it for religious reasons need to get over it. Besides, a) you overwhelmingly LOST the vote and b) if you think Jesus was against alcohol you aren't very well read.
Barney Drunk
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December 30, 2011
You got to wonder how many of the people who voted in favor of this, the corrupt politicians, and the greedy sellers of alcoholic misery all sit it church and actually believe they are Christians?
Rules Rule
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December 30, 2011
Sales at businesses already allowed to sell alcohol on Sunday is probably low, because you need a guide to know where the stores are. When it is county wide, then you will be able to assess if there is an sales increase.
anonymous
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December 30, 2011
Alright, now we can run out to get more booze to cover our alcoholism! Oh yeah, they will serve you in the restaurant, but we just cant get enough there - you know, they dont want us to get drunk. But now, no more waiting! Its great being a lush (thats what sober people call us).

We can get out of church and run to the liquor store (oh wait, we dont go to church - we say we believe, but thats just to ease our conscience). Yep, six days a week wasn't enough. Of course, we could by groveries for our family within that period, but man, when we get those jitters, we got to have the drink.

Weaklings all.
No big deal
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January 09, 2012
I think you are over-reacting. I think everyone is. Do the simple math. If one wants to drink, say for example, one bottle of wine seven days a week, one could purchase one bottle a night for five nights, and two bottles on Sat = seven. Being able to purchase it on SUNDAY has NO CORRELATION to whether or not one will drink on Sunday. DAH!!! As for the "religious" people, feel free to not purchase AND not drink on Sunday.
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