Liquor law reforms are gaining traction in Connecticut's legislature and package stores are not happy.

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The Hartford Courant reports that a public hearing on a comprehensive liquor bill is in the works, including the sale of wine in grocery stores, beer in big-box stores like Walmart and Target, and allowing restaurants to sell wine as part of a takeout order.

Stephen Downes runs Connecticut Beverage Mart on the Berlin Turnpike in Newington and is the Connecticut Package Stores Association President. He told the Hartford Courant, "People are trying to destroy our business." Other package owners agree with Downes and concur that everything should stay as it is.

Elena Elisseeva - Stew Leonard's Wines...
Elena Elisseeva - Stew Leonard's Wines...

There are 1,200 package stores where you can get your liquor from 8 AM to 10 PM. So why are consumers whining about convenience? You can't make another stop to buy your favorite bottle of wine? Attorney and state representative from Hamden, Rep. Michael D'Agostino, argues,

Our job as representatives is to think broadly about what is best for consumers, not just particular segments of the marketplace.

I'm sorry, Michael, it's just my opinion, but I totally disagree. I think there's the potential that Connecticut package stores could take a big hit here. The big-box stores won't lose any business if wine isn't on their shelves, but the package stores sure will, especially the specialty wine shops. How many box stores are going to hire a wine expert?

I understand that competition in the marketplace is how we do business in this country, but at what expense to the little guy whose income is based solely on selling wine and liquor?

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