Wine With Food? Not in New York


I moved to Northern Virginia a few years ago, and I still haven't decided whether the alcoholic beverage laws are more or less annoying here than in New York, where I used to live. On the one hand, all liquor has to be purchased through state-owned stores that are closed on Sunday, charge relatively high prices, and offer minimal selection. On the other hand, you can buy wine as well as beer in grocery stores. In New York, by contrast, wine is available only in specially licensed (though privately owned) liquor stores. Whole Foods, which recently opened a store on Columbus Circle in Manhattan, tried to remedy that problem with a wine store attached to its supermarket. Although "The Wine Store at Whole Foods" is separated from the food area by glass doors, is open different hours, and has a separate checkout, the state Division of Alcoholic Beverage Control says it's all a ruse to get around New York's idiotic rules. I recall a similar arrangement at the Stew Leonard's in Weschester County, but the wine store there had a separate outdoor entrance, and I guess that makes all the difference.

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  1. Don’t move to Pennsylvania. Seriously.

  2. When I lived in Colorado, there was this maddening nearbeer rule, which meant on Sundays groceries and liquor stores could only sell 2.5 beer. Bars were closed, but I seem to recall if you sold hot food, you could serve “regular” beer.

    The result was alcoholics who hadn’t stocked up on Saturday merely urinated more on Sundays.

  3. Finally! A way in which California is more sensible than other states!

  4. There’s always California, where you can buy liquor at a supermarket, wine at a gas station, or beer at a drive-thru dairy (all of which I have done, sadly).

  5. joe’s right. PA…Alcohol regs…Dark ages.

  6. Or Texas, South Carolina, Oklahoma, or California (California not for the liquor laws, but for not going to California either)

    I’m trying to figure out how it is that alcohol restrictions are violations of the US Constitution, but I haven’t come up with it yet.

    SC is pretty much similar to VA, only the liquor stores are privately owned.

    OK does crazy only 3% alcohol beer can be sold outside of liquor stores concept.

    Texas gets the biggest thumbs down of all. Several very high quality German and Belgian beers are illegal in Texas due to the over-zealousness of the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commision. That and Texas is a no-mailorder-wine place, and is rife with dry-zones that follow no rhyme or reason. Half of the city of Plano is totally dry, the other half can sell beer and wine. Sometimes just moving the door of your establishment changes your beer zone.

  7. In Kansas, liquor stores can not sell cigarettes. I have no idea why.

    While in NY, I had the confusing experience of being told that I couldn’t buy beer in a liquor store.

    Stupid laws are everywhere.

  8. I can beat New York for wine weirdness.

    In Texas, areas are wet or dry based municipalities and precincts. So if you have a large town that is dry, the solution is to incorporate a small town nearby and vote it wet. This happened in several places across the state. You would have these little towns, complete with population signs etc, that were literally nothing more than a cluster of liquor stores.

    I wonder what New York’s original justification for making liqueur stores separate from other stores was? Even more interesting, I wonder if anybody actually remembers the justification or are they just following a bureaucratic reflex?

  9. As a Californian moving to New York City in the 80’s, I remember being shocked to find that in this “wide open” city I couldn’t buy a six-pack or a bottle o’ red at the local Food Emporium.

  10. Damn, these examples make us in Missouri look downright progressive by comparison….I think that’s a first for us.

  11. Rabbit – you can get beer at grocery, just not wine or liquor. And you can’t get beer at a liquor store. Runs circles around you, logically.

    NY is slowly coming out of the dark ages – as of 2004, we can buy wine and liquor on Sundays (stores must still be closed one day a week (of their choosing), though). Plus, in NYC, our bars are open until 4am! But the SLA is still a stooge for liquor distributors and tax collectors.

    Connecticut has the worst laws – no beer, wine or liquor after 8pm, and never on Sundays or holidays. So if you don’t get all your liquor by 7:59 pm Saturday night on a three-day weekend, you’re SOL.

  12. I believe that liquor stores in Virginia are now allowed to be open on Sundays. However, it is always much cheaper to buy one’s liquor in Washington, DC, where prices are much lower and the selection is much better. I’m not sure why, but I believe it is because retailers can buy directly from producers without having to go through a wholesaler, as is the case in most states.

  13. MA has some funky rules IIRC. Besides the no Sunday sales rule, supported by liquor store owners, I seem to remember that no single entity can own more than 6 liquor licenses (my memory is a tad hazy). The result was that chains, like supermarkets, had to pick and choose which locations could sell alcohol. So there were only 6 Star Markets in the state that could sell alcohol and a bunch more that couldn’t. Fortunately, one was right next to where I lived.

    Of course, this may have changed and I could be wrong about a bunch of the details, since most of it was told to me as a gullible Californian eager to laugh at the Puritanical laws of MA.

  14. Or there’s Europe or Japan; where you can buy beer out of a vending machine.

  15. Do women in Brooklyn have to go veiled?

    (At least Saudi Arabia’s laws concerning alcohol make some kind of sense (in context).)

  16. “Do women in Brooklyn have to go veiled?

    (At least Saudi Arabia’s laws concerning alcohol make some kind of sense (in context).)”

    No kidding. Sounds like it is easier to buy beer in Jordan or Egypt than most states.

    Reminds me of a story I heard from an Iranian aquaintance from Puerto Rico who visited Tehran for the first time since he left in the early 80’s. He was at a house party where two guys bet on who’s beer guy could deliver the quickest. We’re talking big bottles of serious German beer (smuggled) for peanuts.

    When the second beer guy arrived he was pissed off that his customer didn’t tell him about the bet. He would have rushed! Don’t remember how much time the winner took but they both would have beat Domino’s Pizza.

  17. Getting beer in Egypt is cake. I remember I used to get on the good side of random Egyptians because I would buy beer for them. Not because they couldn’t, but because they didn’t want to be seen buying beer. Bad Muslim that I am (not to mention American tourist), no one cared when I bought it.

  18. Here in Ohio, the grocery stores sell beer (if the owner can get a license) on Sunday (again, another license). They can even see wine (again, license). Liquor is limited (license permitting) less than 40 proof. I have been living here for over twenty years, and never had the urge to drink “diluted” 40 proof Jack Daniel’s.

  19. Connecticut:

    Beer only in supermarkets, Monday through Saturday, 8 am – 9 pm.

    Liquor stores have the option to remain open until nine. Most of the big chains do, but mom ‘n’ pops don’t. Liquor stores sell beer, but cannot sell snacks, unlike Massachussets. (There’s a very nice place in West Springfield that sells all sorts of foo foo cheeses and such to go with your booze.)

    No alcohol on Sundays except in bars/restaurants. (Except if a major holiday (Christmas, July 4) falls on a Monday, then the stores are allowed to open on Sunday)

    And the Stew Leonard’s in Danbury has a wine store a block away. (No conflict of interest there.)

  20. The bill to allow internet/grocery store sales died in the NY legislature partly because the chairman of the Conservative Party (a real wingnut) Mike Long. Long has been twisting the nuts of Republicans threatening to withold endorsments of (so candidates can be on mulitple ballot lines) Republicans in NYS and they’ve been blowing him off on a lot of items but ol’ Mikey is…wait for it…a liquor store owner down in NYC so this is the one concession they’re giving him this year to get their conservative party endorsements.

    Only in NY kids, only in NY. 🙂

  21. In Tennessee you can’t buy a corkscrew at a liquor store. They can only sell items that have more than 1 % alcohol content, so you have to go to a grocery store to buy a corkscrew. Until recently, you couldn’t sell alcohol before noon on Sunday. Makes perfect sense. After all, if you can’t buy beer, your only logical option is church.

  22. I miss Nevada. Beer, wine and liquor any time at any grocery store. Of course there was the small matter of abundant drunk drivers and the attendant sky-high auto insurance rates.

  23. Here in MI we got it good in this area. Booze in the supermarket. You can get wine shipped direct to you from out of state.

    Some of my favorite blue laws I’ve encountered over the years.

    Every sale must break a tax seal.
    So every time you order a drink in a bar they have to open one of what we use to call airline bottles (most often used to smuggle booze into concerts and sporting events).

    No Happy hour
    Illegal to reduce prices for a limited time. But drink specials were still OK so local watering holes would put bottles of Duff on sale until they sold out… usually around 7:00

    1oz per drink limit
    You can’t order a double, but you can buy as many drinks as you like. So you order your drink and a shot on the side, if you poor the shot into the drink yourself that’s your business.

  24. It used to be worse. I remember when my family moved from California to Maryland in the late ’60s there were still ‘blue laws’ that kept the grocery stores closed on Sunday. I’m not sure but I think even the convenience stores were closed. You couldn’t even buy a quart of milk on Sunday, whoever thought that up must have been one serious religious nut with something seriously up his ass…

  25. Kevin,

    You probably wouldn’t want to come back, now. In addition to high auto insurance premiums, housing prices have started to be comparable with Southern California ($350,000 for 1600 sq. ft. new house on 1/9th acre, or empty dirt lots for $300,000 per acre). I’m glad I got my house when I did, two years ago. I couldn’t afford it now.

  26. Warren,
    So martinis and scotch are limited to 1 oz in MI? Feh!

  27. Louisiana is actually doing a good job in this department. You can buy beer, wine and liquor pretty much anywhere, and at anytime. They even have drive through daiquiri places. Unfortunately, passengers can no longer drink in moving vehicles and they just resumed the motorcycle helmet law. It was a nice change from NY though in this area.

  28. Quick update, my girlfriend tells me that the laws only apply in New Orleans, not necessarily the rest of the state. Also, there’s no closing time for bars.

  29. Mo,
    No no, the laws now here in MI are quite good all around alcohol wise. Those were just things I’ve encountered over the years across the country.

  30. Douglas Fletcher,

    “You couldn’t even buy a quart of milk on Sunday, whoever thought that up must have been one serious religious nut with something seriously up his ass”

    Actually, the blue laws you mention are probably fairly modern and secular in origin. Many blue laws are thinly disguised means of suppressing economic competition. Small individual or family run businesses often back blue laws because they don’t want to compete with 24/7 corporate outfits.

    From reading the comments I bet that New York’s restriction of liquor sales to specialty stores is the same thing. If I ran a liquor store I wouldn’t want a supermarket to be able to compete with me.

  31. Well, maybe so, but blue laws I’m talking about were repealed back in the early ’70s. There weren’t any retail outlets at all that were allowed to be open on Sunday at the point, as far as I’m aware, which would make me think it was religiously based more than anything else.

    At the time, with the exception of Baltimore, Maryland was really just a bunch of small towns with a couple of more heavily populated counties around DC. Up until the mid-1970s Maryland had a film censor board with an old lady running it who I seem to remember occasionally kept filsm out of the state that she believed were blasphemous, among other reasons. I think that “heavily Catholic” would have been a good description of the religious character of the Maryland at that time.

  32. I am still not understanding why we have these rules on alcohol other than to protect the alcoholics from purchasing and having to go to their own stash behind their cupboard!!!

  33. I am still not understanding why we have these rules on alcohol other than to protect the alcoholics from purchasing and having to go to their own stash behind their cupboard!!!

  34. I am still not understanding why we have these rules on alcohol other than to protect the alcoholics from purchasing and having to go to their own stash behind their cupboard!!!

  35. I went on a pub crawl in Nashville in about 1963 with a college buddy.
    We happened to be closing down Tootsie’s Orchid Lounge.
    At the appointed hour, every patron of Tootsie’s (who had heretofore been restricted to the intake of beer only) marched outside for a sharp left and up about two flights.
    It was as if we had landed in Las Vegas or The Big Easy.
    Beer was suddenly verboten. Only hard liquor.

    Fortunately, my friend and I were able to bear up under this heavy burden.

  36. I can’t figure out if I’m going senile or just blind.

  37. I live in NY and I have a bartending certificate (not to be confused with a liquor license). Since I am 19 New York State has an excellent system for regulating my employment: I am allowed to work as a bartender but I am not allowed to be in the bar.

    Actually thats an exageration. I can be in the bar while I am working but its technically illegal for me to go in to fill out an application. Also my Bartending School has something called “barnight” where students get experience in an actual bar but I can’t participate because I am not an official employee and I am under 21.

    Oh I have a question for people in the states with drive through beer and liquor. Do they check ID at the drive through?

  38. All this talk of blue laws and restrictive alcohol regulations, and no mention of Utah? Wow.

    I don’t live there, but my dad does. He’s told me a few and I have had a chance to observe some.

    In Utah:
    * One drink (1 weak beer, 1 glass of wine, or 1 oz. of liquor) per person-of-age-choosing-to-consume on the table at a time. You must finish your beer before they’ll bring you another one.
    * State store for liquor and wine. Open limitted hours, never open Sunday. Seemingly few locations.
    * Weak beer.
    * Beer only certain hours, never Sunday, in grocery stores (I never saw and wine there, but I’m not sure if they can or cannot sell it).
    * No “bars”. They have to be “private clubs” with membership fees (rules were recently changed though).
    * Limit on number of drinks without ordering food.

  39. I read somewhere that Illinois has the most dry communities of any state. I’d love to see a detailed breakdown across the country by community to see how true this is.

    Anyway, the wet parts of Illinois (anywhere that anybody would actually want to live) have very good laws — you can get anything you want in a grocery store, and the liquor aisle is often next to the pop and chips.

    When I lived in Texas, I noticed that the liquor stores tended to be more high quality than in Illinois since everybody has to buy their hard alcohol there. I think Texas has a 5% rule for grocery stores, and a lot of stuff I drink here in Illinois is 5.1%, so it tasted slightly different.

  40. “Oh I have a question for people in the states with drive through beer and liquor. Do they check ID at the drive through?”

    Sure do.

  41. More on PA: The beer stores can sell you cases of beer, but not anything less than a case. If you want a six pack, you have to go to a bar, and they are only allowed to sell you cold six packs and a maximum of 2 six packs. If you want to buy 3 six packs, you have to buy 2, take them to your car, and then come back in for another.

  42. And in Utah, you have to carry your own bottle in, or at least you used to. That was a lot of the reason for the membership fees, IIRC. The bar’s gotta make it’s money somehow, and if it can’t do it by pouring booze for you then it’ll charge you for your seat.

  43. yeah, I remember being laughed out of Safeway the first time I tried to buy beer in a supermarket in DC. You also can’t buy alcohol on Sundays. That said, for some reason, which I’ll hafta look into Whole Foods is able to sell beer/wine 7 days a week in DC. Maryland, I believe, has similar laws. Ridiculous, liquor laws is one thing CA has right.

  44. Well, from reading all of the above, I can see that the legalisation of drugs both hard and soft won’t cause any problem, since the various governments already have laws in place which need only a few noun changes.

    For “beer” read “marijuana”; for “wine”, “hashish”; and for “liquor”, “opiates and cocaine”.

    Mushrooms go in the produce department.

  45. When I lived in Virginia (nearly ten years ago, so perhaps times have changed)it was technically illegal to own a bar; that is, a place whose sole function was to sell alcoholic drinks on-premises. Instead, a certain percentage of your receipts had to come from food orders, even if you ran a dance club or some such thing. This one place in Virginia Beach, which I used to frequent for about six months after turning 21, got around this by charging a cover and providing a free snack buffet; thus, they were able to count their cover charges as “food sales.”

    Also, it was illegal for these non-bars to have internally lighted signs for alcohol. I was amazed when I moved to Connecticut and saw my first-ever neon beer signs.

  46. In Ohio the Laws were alright, half-proof liquor at the Supermarket and full proof at the Liquor store. Always a good selection of stuff, generally.
    Now in Tennssee I cannot find a good beer to save my life, plus prices are higher, which hurts.

  47. How about the fact that, in South Carolina, all the “ABC” stores are required by law to identify themselves with large, red dots on the building? Seems to me that those dots must have a Pavlovian effect on serious alcoholics, making it difficult for them to pass up a “red dot store” when they see one.

  48. OK, they’re not required to have the dots, they are allowed to, in lieu of advertising or calling themselves liquor stores.

    The effect could even be generalized to the color red, I bet.

  49. AZ is pretty much the best place to drink that I’ve been (in the US) outside of maybe Vegas and New Orleans.

    Last call goes to 2 this Tuesday, BTW.

    There are Circle K’s here in Tucson that sell hard liquor. Do they not in Phoenix?

    Also, there are plenty of stores here that routinely ignore the very few restricted hours that alcohol can be sold. No one seems too bothered by it.

    However, I’d say Tucson would be about the worst place to be an under-21 college student. Parties are regularly busted up, and underage drinkers are generally booked. Several bars have been made examples of (for serving underage people), so it isn’t uncommon to get carded well into your 30’s.

    Other than that, it pretty much rocks. It’s always culture shock when I visit back home in Georgia.

  50. Tennessee! Oh man! I remember Hank Williams Jr. opened a bar outside of Paris TN back in the 80’s. Get this, it was bring your own! That’s right it was illegal for them to sell you booze but not for you to bring it in yourself and drink it. Of cours you had to drink out of the bar’s official plastic cup, which they charged five bucks for.

  51. I’m trying to figure out how it is that alcohol restrictions are violations of the US Constitution, but I haven’t come up with it yet.

    The 21st Amendment repealed Prohibition, but it also gave the states broad authority to regulate booze sales – or even prohibit them entirely.

    There’s been a recent series of posts over in on how this authority shouldn’t stretch to the point of discriminating against out-of-state (mail order/internet) booze.

  52. South Carolina:

    We got y’all beat. Last state to mandate use of the mini-bottles instead of free-pour.

  53. It’s still impossible to run an actual bar in Virginia. l believe that you have to have 51% of your sales come from food. Being from Chicago, I had no idea how good I had it. At first, I didn’t mind the no-bar thing, but I have really come to miss it. Bars have a very different personality than places that are mostly restaurants.

    In addition, I very much miss the bring-your-own restaurants in Chicago. I used to be able to get a fabulous meal for comparatively very little and provide whatever I wanted to drink with it.

    I never noticed the absence of neon beer signs. Now that you mention it though, I don’t think there are any here. I’m not 100% sure that you can’t have those indoors if they are not visible to the street though…anyone else know?

  54. Ever been up to Canada?
    Here in Manitoba, you can get beer only at government run liquor stores or “cold beer vendors” which are almost always located at the back of some seedy motel.

    Up until last year, these were all closed on Sundays.

  55. I never noticed a difference in Ontario, except you can drink at 19 (which I took great advantage of during college). I believe there are separate beer and liquor stores, but helpfully, their locations are listed on the popular city maps, and there seem to be plenty of them.

  56. Well, no one has mentioned Arizona yet. I suppose I’ll chip in my two cents.

    I’m not 100% up on all the laws, but I do know that you can’t buy liquor on Sunday mornings…till 1pm I think.
    No dry areas that I know of, and in Phoenix Metro you can buy booze (beer, wine, and hard alcohol), from the grocery store, liquor store, or drive-thru liqour store. (My favorite, because they sell flask size bottles of my fav. stuff!) The last two can also sell food/snacks.
    I’ve seen beer and wine at gas stations, but no actual bottles of hard liquor.
    Bars can only stay open till 1am though, which sucks.

  57. (Slightly off-topic:)

    Another Connecticut weirdness: liquor stores here are colloquially known as “package” stores (as if we’re not permitted to spend too much time pondering exactly what these “packages” contain) – does anyone else do this?


    P.S. “Package” is frequently abbreviated in conversation as “packy” (as in to “make a packy run” for beer, …) – of course, one must use care when speaking with folks from elsewhere, lest this be confused with the very un-PC term “Paki.” (My cousin got caught up by a similar thing awhile back. He had a habit of referring to Martinis as “‘Toonies” and ordered one… at a Canadian bar. The bartender thought he was panhandling.)

  58. One particularly idiotic and mean-spirited aspect of liquor law in Ohio is that underage drinking is a first-degree misdemeanor, the same as such serious crimes as assault, theft, domestic violence, passing bad checks, and aggravated menacing. Underage drinkers in Ohio face up to 180 days in jail.

  59. Nicole–
    No, even in a bar with no windows you can’t have lighted beer signs in Virginia–I worked in such a bar in college. The only advertising decor allowed is stuff like those framed mirrors with “Bud” or “Busch” logos transcribed thereon, because if drinkers get to see them purty glowin’ signs they’ll. . . .well, actually, I never did learn the presumed rationale.

  60. Aleana, you aren’t up to date on Arizona anymore. The beer on Sunday ban only goes to 10 am now. Still sucked the first time I came off a Saturday night shift & wanted a nice cold six-pack, but that only happened once, you can bet.

    Also, the bars are only open until 1 am, but legislation passed and was signed by the guv to extend legal bar hours to 2 am. This is supposed to take effect within a month or so.

    Pretty much an alky paradise, really. Plenty of neightborhood bars that open at 6 am on the dot. Plenty of drunks stumbling around at any given time of day, too.

  61. Aleana, you aren’t up to date on Arizona anymore. The beer on Sunday ban only goes to 10 am now. Still sucked the first time I came off a Saturday night shift & wanted a nice cold six-pack, but that only happened once, you can bet.

    Also, the bars are only open until 1 am, but legislation passed and was signed by the guv to extend legal bar hours to 2 am. This is supposed to take effect within a month or so.

    Pretty much an alky paradise, really. Plenty of neightborhood bars that open at 6 am on the dot. Plenty of drunks stumbling around at any given time of day, too.

  62. Well, I’ve only lived in 4 states:

    WI: beer and wine in the food stores, liquor stores close at 8pm, but when there’s a bar every 10 feet, who cares? Pleasantly lax DWI enforcement. 70% of Cheeseheads drink, the highest % in the nation.

    NM: liquor, beer and wine everywhere, including food stores. Ridiculously lax DWI enforecment.

    MA: nothing at food stores, bars close at 12:20am even in Boston. The Puritan ethos in southern New England still demands that citizens feel guilty, no matter where or when they drink. Can’t buy aything on Sundays, unless you are within 10 miles of a neighboring state where you can buy booze on Sundays. DWI enforcement not a problem if you didn’t learn to drive in MA. Because if you didn’t learn to drive there, you would never drive as poorly as the natives anyway, and hence would never be pulled over.

    PA: nothing in food stores, and you must buy beer in a separate store than where you buy wine and hard liquor. Execpt in Phily County and, I think, Allegheny Co. DWI enforcement based on whether the dude you pulls you over knows you or not (I live in rural PA, after all).

    Bottom line…I envision this ad:

    Retro: We’ll let you drink.

    Metro: Out east here with our Purtian heritage, we’ll make it hard for you to drink. Unless you live in NoCal. Then it’s okay.

  63. A few random comments:

    Yes, MI is paradise compared with some of the other states, but it’s not perfect. No sales before noon on Sundays. Contrary to an earlier poster, MI does prohibit out-of-state shipments (one of the cases going to the Supreme Court this term is from MI).

    I think a few people in NJ where I grew up would call liquor stores “package stores”, but I remember bars often would have signs reading “Package Goods”. BTW, here in MI liquor stores most often are known as “party stores”, and a common term in IN is “bottle shop” (or “bottle shoppe” for the seriously frou-frou).

    Finally (and unfortunately), the beer and liquor vending machines in Japan went away a few years ago (I think it was around 2000 or 2001). Seems some local bluenoses (yes, they’re everywhere) pointed out the machines were being used by HS and JHS students to evade the drinking age regulations (imagine that!). Too bad. There’s nothing better on a hot humid day than to walk up to a machine, pop in your money, and receive a cold beer in return.

  64. Here’s another data point (and liquor-flavored “Stupid Government Tricks” anecdote):

    A few days after my 21st birthday, I found myself starting (short-lived) grad school at Penn State. Then (as apparently is the case now, given previous posts), one could buy cases of beer at a “distributor,” beer a six pack or two at a time at a bar’s “bottle shop,” but had to make the schlep to a state store (limited hours and locations) for liquor and wine. (Exception: wine from local vintners could be purchased seven days a week from their own on-site shop.)

    Anyway, my drink then was a vodka and tonic with a twist of lime. Having already hit the grocery to get the limes and tonic, I made way to State College state store for a bottle of Smirnoff. I get to the register and hand the checkout clerk my (Connecticut) license. “Uh oh,” she said. At that point, I figured I was screwed, having only an “out-of-state” ID (having just gone through that two or three days earlier on a camping trip in Maine).

    But no, the problem was that I was within some odd number of days of my twenty-first birthday. (“As a matter of fact, you’re right!” I remember replying.) As a result, I could purchase the booze, BUT… (here’s the money line:) I had to complete and sign an affidavit affirming I was, indeed, the person in the ID, and that the date, etc., was correct. “You’re kidding, right?” I, of course, asked. Nope.

    While filling out the form in question (which the Commonwealth employees at the store had to handle, process, file, and – who knows? – forward on to Harrisburg to be handled, processed, and filed) I had to ask, “Were this a fake ID, how much more difficult would it have been for me to make myself, say, a YEAR older, instead of a few days?” No answer was forthcoming.


  65. Colorado does limit beer sales at grocery stores to 3.2% beer, but the bars are open on Sundays. And Colorado boasts some of the largest, cheapest liquor stores in the nation (which are not open on Sundays). And although the U. of Colorado’s ranking on the party school list plummeted to #9 according to the Princeton Review, Denver was just ranked as the drunkest city in the U.S. Yipee!

  66. I lived in Mississippi between 96 and 2000. If I remember correctly, liquor stores can only sell liquor and wine. No beer, no accessories, no bartending books, nothing but liquor/wine which they have to purchase from state owned warehouses that mark prices up ~27%.

    I don’t remember any alcohol content limits on beer at grocery store and gas stations.

    I belive that a business can only have one liquor license per state and/or the tax commission can decide how many to issue. There was an Albertson’s in Gulfport that the had its liquor store next door (separate entrances), and the article talking about it said that was the only liquor license issued to Albertson’s, and that either state law or the tax commission (I don’t remember) limited them to one.

    MS also has the bizarre patchwork of dry counties, partially dry counties and even “wet” cities in the center of a dry county.

    If I remember correctly, Utah owns the alcohol warehouses and all the liquor stores-which are the sole retailer of liquor, wine, and >3.2% beer, all marked up ~78% over distributor prices.

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