Before the mid-2000s, the sale of alcohol was banned on Sundays in New York State, which might have been seen as a problem 25 years ago this week, when Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve both fell on Sundays.
But many Western New York liquor store owners were just fine with the restrictions.
“People plan ahead,” said Burt Notarius, the longtime owner of Premier Liquor. “I think they know liquor stores aren’t open on Sundays.”
It was 2003 when Sunday sales of liquor and wine were allowed in New York State. Notarius, who died this year, celebrated the easing of the laws. "They should have been done this a long time ago. Bars and grocery stores are open, so there's no reason liquor stores shouldn't be open," Notarius told The News in 2003.
"Liquor store owners in Western New York haven't joined their compatriots nationwide in criticizing 'blue laws' that restrict Sunday liquor sales.
"Several local liquor retailers seemed perplexed by the firestorm of controversy that has developed in some states because both Christmas Eve and New Year's Eve fall on Sunday this year."