Tennessee is one step away from wine, liquor sales on Sundays

(Fox 17 News)

Tennessee is one step away from wine and liquor sales on Sundays.

Governor Haslam just has to add his signature to seal the deal.

Nader “Smiley” Loka puts a bottle of wine in a bag for a customer on Wednesday, but this could become a thing every day of the week at Smiley’s Liquors in North Nashville.

Nader Loka, Smiley's Liquors owner, says, “We agreed to be 100% open if the law passed.”

Today, the bill passed to allow liquor stores to open on Sudnays and some holidays, granting grocery stores the same with wine…

Gloria Blair, Smiley's customer says, "Sundays' should be a day for the Lord. Liquor should not be included on His day.”

“I believe it will take from Friday/Saturday sales,” says Loka.

Next to Kroger on Clarksville Pike, Loka says, his location is actually a boost in business, but the new law and whatever follows could change things.

“Sundays by itself I don't want it. If it's the holidays: I'll definitely take it. Grocery store by itself to sell wine on Sunday: I don't mind at all. But liquor stores to be open on Sundays, I would like to stay open six days a week and have my days off,” explains Loka.

Blair adds, “They need a break, they need to rest. That's a day of rest."

William T. Cheek, Waller Law Firm's alcoholic beverage team leader says, "That's going to be really hard for some of these small ma and pop owners…”

Cheek, a Nasvhille attorney says, independent stores…”I think we're going to see more stores go out of business.”

Loka questions, “Are they going to allow the grocery store to sell liquor as well or no?”

“I think it's going to happen, the question is when. It's happening faster than I ever would have thought. I am surprised the legislature did Sunday sales so soon. I think by seeing the 10 percent markup in the bill, it's going to happen in the next couple of years,” says Cheek.

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