The Naperville Liquor Commission recently discussed the possibility of adding two extra hours to liquor sales on Sundays. Right now, Naperville stores start selling alcohol at noon on Sundays. But if passed by City Council, they could start selling at 10 a.m.
For Malloy’s Finest Wine & Spirits manager Rich Dabbert, opening the doors two hours earlier is a good thing for business. And he would know: he also manages the Malloy’s in Lisle that made the same change not long ago.
“For the first five to six months we had three to six customers and that was it,” said Dabbert. “But after awhile people understood that we were open.”
While alcohol sales are off limits until noon on Sundays in Naperville, around 50% of towns in DuPage County start selling at 10a.m.
“We have information from stores that have other locations in other towns have seen their Naperville customers go to the out of town locations. Just to accommodate that need,” said Scott Wehrli, Assistant Liquor Commissioner for the Naperville Liquor Commission.
While two hours a week might not seem like a lot, in the long run it does benefit both local stores and the city.
“In the Lisle store, over the course of a year, it looks like we’re getting about a 20% increase on Sunday sales,” said Dabbert.
“Any sales that are made inside Naperville, Naperville benefits from,” said Wehrli. “And in this case, what you’re talking about equates to two hours of alcohol sales a week taking place right here in our own community versus somewhere else.”
As for Naperville residents, they have mixed reactions on the idea.
“I kind of think this is a bad idea,” said Ellen Lucke, Naperville resident. “This is kind of a family town, not an urban town, and most people I know are busy doing other things on Sunday morning than drinking.”
“My husband would be thrilled,” said Naperville resident Jill Ryan. “It would be one less trip to the grocery store when I’m running there getting different things for a Bears game or something and you have to go back in the afternoon to get the other supplies.”
“I don’t think it’s going to have an impact one way or another but it’s fine by me,” said Naperville resident Don Orchard. “I think the residents would be happy to see extended hours for anything anytime.”
The Liquor Commission is having city staff draft an amendment to allow a one year trial for earlier liquor sales on Sunday, which will be then be presented to City Council.
City Council is expected to further discuss and vote on the sale extension at their September 7th meeting.
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