PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – For decades, wine and spirits stores were closed in Pennsylvania on Sundays and holidays.
But Gov. Tom Wolf and state legislators are changing that.
“This Memorial Day is the first day that we will have many of our stores open for the holiday,” said Elizabeth Brassell, spokesperson for the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board.
At the Waterfront, the local manager was posting a sign never seen before: “Open Memorial Day.”
Under a new law, Memorial Day is the first major holiday that many liquor stores will be open across the state.
Not every wine and spirit store in Pittsburgh will be open on Memorial Day.
Only those stores that are usually open will remain open, and the hours will be shorter on the holiday, from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m.
Why Memorial Day?
“It’s really in the interest of customer convenience, consumer convenience, and accessibility for our customers,” says Brassell. “The rest of the retail world will be open on Monday and for the first time we can join them.”
“Any time a holiday comes, especially in Pittsburgh, you should have an open liquor stores,” Tyrone Anthony of Mt. Washington told KDKA money editor Jon Delano. “This is a town that likes to drink.”
Many customers are happy with the opening, especially on this holiday.
“I think it’s a big picnic, booze kind of day,” says Diane Brandt of the South Side.
“A lot of people come in from out of town. Maybe they don’t have something their guests’ drinks, and they may have forgotten something,” adds Alice Garrett of Mt. Oliver.
Employees who work get paid time-and-a-half, but not everyone likes the idea.
“As a veteran, I don’t think it needs to be open on Memorial Day,” says John Jacobs of West Mifflin. “We should observe that. I think there’s enough time for everyone to go out and get whatever they need in advance of Monday.”
In addition to Memorial Day, liquor stores will be open on Independence Day, Columbus Day, and Veterans Day.
They will remain closed on Labor Day, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s Day.