Mass. liquor stores may stay open on Thanksgiving

MASSACHUSETTS (NEWS10) – Liquor stores in Massachusetts are required to be closed at least three days out of the year, but that could soon change.

The three days liquor stores must be closed are Memorial Day, Christmas and Thanksgiving. A bill before the legislature would make the mandatory closing on Thanksgiving optional, but some liquor store owners are saying no thanks.

Nichols Package Store owner Gregory Babich in Pittsfield said it’s simply not worth the loss of family time.

“I would probably not do it because number one I want to have my own family time that day,” he said. “I don’t have many days like that as a family.”

Derek Garofano owns George’s Liquor Store. He agrees the three holidays should remain work free.

“Thanksgiving is one of them, Christmas and Memorial Day, so to me, that’s a family day,” he said. “You should be home, and I can’t imagine it would be that busy anyways because most people are home or traveling.”

But some customers admitted convenience is key.

“I believe liquor stores should be open,” customer Chase McGirt said. “It should just be regulated at a certain time like they do on Sundays.”

“I suppose I wish, but I don’t expect them to be,” customer Timothy Heath said. “I wouldn’t want people to work.”

And Babich said those who work on Thanksgiving probably wouldn’t earn an increased profit for the store.

“Yes, I would have to pay time and a half to employees,” he said. “Customers who would normally come in the day before Thanksgiving would spread the sales apart between the Wednesday and Thursday, so it really wouldn’t make a big difference sales wise.”

Derek said that even if it does mean more money, he’s not budging.

“Economically, it would probably be a good choice because of dollars coming into the store, but I’m dead set against it because to me, that’s a family day, and if I have the choice, I’m closing,” he said.

The bill was proposed by a northern Massachusetts lawmaker where stores struggle with people crossing state lines to buy alcohol in New Hampshire on Thanksgiving. It is currently before the legislature.

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