Grovetown starts package alcohol sales Sunday

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Starting Sunday, all roads in the Augusta area lead to the city of Grovetown – at least for those seeking a six-pack.

Peter Lee, the owner of the GT Package Shop in Grovetown, plans to be open on Sundays starting Jan. 1.  Jim Blaylock/Staff
Jim Blaylock/Staff
Peter Lee, the owner of the GT Package Shop in Grovetown, plans to be open on Sundays starting Jan. 1.

City council members voted unanimously Monday to amend the city’s alcohol ordinance, fulfilling voters’ wishes to allow Sunday carry-out sales of beer, wine and liquor.

Because the law change took immediate effect, this Sunday is the first day package alcohol sales will be allowed in the city. It follows action by the state Legislature this year, allowing cities and counties to hold local referendums on Sunday package alcohol sales.

The first of those referendums took place Nov. 8, with Grovetown and 126 other communities in Georgia holding a vote. All but 17 of those referendums passed, according to the Georgia Food Industry Association.

The city of Winder, near Athens, was the first to allow Sunday sales, according to the GFIA. Other communities have followed as local ordinances are amended in accordance with the vote.

City of Augusta officials say they plan to hold a referendum in March. Columbia County Administrator Scott Johnson said the county will hold a referendum in July along with party primaries, while Harlem Administrator Jason Rizner says officials there haven’t yet decided when to hold a vote.

A Grovetown code enforcement official this week visitedeach of the city’s eight stores already licensed for package alcohol sales to let them know of the law’s change, said City Administrator Shirley Beasley.

Those stores cansell carry-out alcohol from 12:30-11:30 p.m. Sundays. The law applies only to stores within the city limits of Grovetown.

“That’s going to bring a lot of revenue to this little town,” said Jessie Wright, assistant manager of Food Lion at 806 Lewiston Road.

tThat no other local communities have yet voted to enable Sunday sales will provide that boost, Wright said. Conversely, the change also likely will cut down on the last-minute Saturday rush each week at the beer cooler.

“The last few minutes in here before we close is very busy,” Wright said.

Peter Lee, owner of GT Package Shop at 5108 Wrightsboro Road, agrees.

“Most people buy for Sunday on Saturday afternoon or evening,” Lee said. “Now they can wait until Sunday.

“I think it will all equal out,” Lee added. “I might see a slight pickup. Certainly sales will go up, but not much.”

Most Grovetown stores contacted say they plan to sell this Sunday, but Lee says he’ll stay closed because of a previous obligation. The following Sunday is Christmas, and Georgia law prohibits alcohol sales on Christmas, so Lee plans to open for his first Sunday on Jan. 1.

A few blocks away, the manager of Billy Jacks Party Shop isn’t yet certain whether the store will open on what ordinarily is their only day off.

“I’m not planning to open this Sunday, but we’ll probably give it a trial run soon,” said Angel Wallace, whose father owns the store.

“I’m going to talk to my employees and see if anyone is interested in those hours,” she added.

Because GT Package Shop and Billy Jack’s are the only liquor stores in Grovetown, customers will be able to buy only beer or wine this Sunday.


Grovetown stores with package alcohol sales

• Golden Pantry, 5108 Wrightsboro Road

• A&S Market, 317 E. Robinson Ave.

• IGA, 110 Harlem-Grovetown Road

• Circle K, 5101 Wrightsboro Road

• Food Lion, 806 Lewiston Road

• CVS Pharmacy, 5101 Wrightsboro Road

• GT Package Shop, 5108 Wrightsboro Road (will not open on Sunday until Jan. 1)

• Billy Jack’s Party Shop, 108 Harlem-Grovetown Road (will not open Sunday, but will later)

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Riverman1 12/16/11 - 01:09 pm
" Columbia County

" Columbia County Adminstrator Scott DEAN said the county will hold a referedum in July along with party primaries, while Harlem Administrator Jason Rizner says officials there haven’t yet decided when to hold a vote."

Heh, heh, heh. Been busy the past couple of days, have we?

seenitB4 12/17/11 - 07:14 am
Now stewart you won't have

Now stewart you won't have far to go for that 6-pack..:)

david jennings
david jennings 12/17/11 - 08:30 am
Merry Christmas Groovetown.

Merry Christmas Groovetown.

soldout 12/17/11 - 10:39 am
If you can't have fun or

If you can't have fun or enjoy life without alcohol you have a problem. If may be a little problem now but for one out of twelve it becomes a big problem at some point in their life. It is also destroying brain cells and can double the risk of breast cancer in women. Why not enjoy the mind God gave you without adding some drug to it. Some drink because they don't absorb B vitamins and crave them. That can be fixed easily with naet and then the craving goes away. For some that changes the addiction into a choice which becomes a lot easier to fix if they want it fixed. You can enjoy life, be relaxed.have good social skills, and be the life of the party without any drugs. If by drinking you cause your children to stumble you will have life long regrets. It is one thing to have a child killed because of alcohol but another if they modeled their drinking by your example. Your child might be that one of twelve that is going to have a serious problem with drinking. Would you put your child on an airplane that crashed on one out of twelve trips?

Riverman1 12/17/11 - 10:44 am
Soldout, all that is very

Soldout, all that is very true, but it's been here a long time and ain't going anywhere.

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