Mehul Patel, operator of Crown Liquors, 702 Shorter Ave., said it’s hard to tell the difference between six days of receipts and seven days worth of sales.
“No help,” Patel said. “Me and my wife both work here; it’s a waste of time you know. But if everybody is open, I’m open.”
The Super Tuesday vote to permit Sunday package sales was approved by 57.2 percent of the almost 4,300 Rome city voters who turned out for the election. The issue was not put before voters in unincorporated Floyd County.
Julio Patel, owner of Chastain’s Regency Beverage, 1416 N. Broad St., said many people don’t work on Sunday so they don’t come in for a bottle after work. “It’s not a good day, not at all,” Patel said. “We’ve got no choice because my competition is open, and I don’t want to lose any of my regular customers.”
To this point, Patel said his customers at the North Broad location have told him not to worry about being open on Sunday. “Maybe I’ll try it another week or two weeks, and maybe I’ll shut down,” Patel said.
Jayesh Patel, owner of Ark’s Liquors, 432 Shorter Ave., said he paid his fee to be able to open on Sunday but that thus far it hasn’t increased his bottom line. “It might someday,” Patel said. “It costs extra utilities, extra labor, and the sales don’t make any difference because Saturday sales have cut down, and Monday sales have cut down. Sunday is not so good for small liquor stores.”
Mike Barger, general manager at the Kmart, 102 Hicks Drive, said that to this point, Sunday liquor sales haven’t been a big deal. “Everybody’s been in such a habit of making sure they had it on Saturday that it hasn’t been a big thing so far that I can tell, Barger said. “We sell some, but it’s not been a huge deal. It’s more of a convenience thing right now.”
Not everybody is open. Randolph Oswalt, owner of Warehouse beverage, one of Rome’s oldest liquor stores at 2558 Shorter Ave., said he’s been a hold out to this point. “I’m just against it,” Oswalt said. “Of course my competition might force my children to open up because I’m just about ready to retire. I’ve been here 51 years, and I’m ready to give it over to them (his children). It’s their call.”