In neighboring Frederick and Allegany Counties, liquor stores are open at least two hours before any liquor store on Sundays in Washington County.
Within the past few years neighboring counties have allowed liquor stores to open much earlier than noon on Sundays. Some as early as 9 a.m.
Washington County liquor stores like Antietam Spirits are losing business left and right.
“We used to have a line out the door at 12 o’clock, now it has lessened significantly,” said Evelyn Holmes.
Jim Doll, the head of the Washington County Restaurant and Beverage Association and owner of Village Spirits says, people aren’t going to wait around until noon when they have to get to places, especially if they only have to go right down the road.
“It’s just easy for them to drive down to Thurmont, 5-10 minutes, or go up to Pennsylvania and get their beer and wine,” said Doll.
Liquor store owners like the ones at Antietam Spirits say allowing them to open up earlier, will only contribute to Washington County’s economy instead of letting money go elsewhere.
“If we can keep our sales up then it’s certainly more than we can do for the fire departments, the little league, churches, and so forth,” said Doll.
“It’s unfortunate, you know when you work really hard to try to serve the community and help the community grow in its own way,” said Evelyn Holmes.
Some lawmakers feel that allowing liquor stores to serve alcohol at earlier hours on Sunday could interfere with church hours. Liquor store owners say people should live in a county where they can go to church and purchase alcohol as they please.
The next step for the liquor store owners is to take this request to the Washington County Commissioners.