Grocers ready for Sunday beer sales

New city ordinance goes into effect this weekend

Starting Sunday, beer will be available for sale in grocery and convenience stores in Lawrence.

The change is due to a new city ordinance regulating alcohol sales.

City Clerk Frank Reed said Thursday that one of the biggest changes the average consumer would see was in grocery and convenience stores. These outlets can now sell the 3.2 percent beer and wine coolers from noon to 8 p.m. on Sundays, except Easter.

Chris Wiltfong, assistant director at Hy-Vee, 4000 W. Sixth St., said he thought customers would appreciate the option the law provided.

“I think they’re looking forward to it being more convenient, and those customers who are bothered by the lower alcohol content will probably just go to a regular liquor store. For most people, they’re just happy to have the convenience,” he said.

The store has been posting signs and making intercom announcements to alert customers of the coming changes.

Kevin Green, manager of store operations at the Hy-Vee at 4000 W. Sixth St., straightens up the beer selection. Grocery and convenience stores in Lawrence can now sell beer on Sundays.

The ordinance also lifts the ban on alcohol sales on Memorial Day, Independence Day and Labor Day.

Another change concerns liquor store hours. Previously, they could be open from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Sundays. The new law shifts that ahead one hour, from noon to 8 p.m., and forces them to close on Easter, Thanksgiving and Christmas, to stay in accordance with state law.

These changes come after the Legislature amended the Kansas Liquor Control Act earlier this year. Under the new law, cities are banned from Sunday sales unless they pass an ordinance stating otherwise.

In August, the city of Lawrence adopted an ordinance concerning the new regulations, which will become effective for the first time Sunday.