Sundays are wet!

Consumers who want to buy a bottle of wine will no longer have to go out of town to do it.

An ordinance to allow Sunday liquor sales in Wilton was approved by the Board of Selectmen at its meeting Monday, Sept. 16. Liquor stores in town are now allowed to be open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday, as per Connecticut state statute.

The owners of Ancona’s Wine and Liquor, and the Wilton Wine Shoppe were in favor of Sunday sales. Frank Lugossy, of Vintage Fine Wines, felt Sunday sales would not improve his business.

“If I thought [Sunday sales] would increase sales, maybe I would consider supporting it. But I don’t think that increase will materialize,” he said during a July interview.

However, with two of three liquor store owners in favor of Sunday sales, and no opposition in the audience during a public hearing Monday night, Selectman Ted Hoffstater said it was an easy decision for him to make.

“We should support businesses in every way we can. I see no reason why we shouldn’t approve this. If they feel it would help them, I see no reason not to approve.”

One of the strongest advocates for Sunday sales, Mitch Ancona, of Ancona Wine and Liquor, was in attendance to once again lend his support. When he addressed the board at a July meeting, Mr. Ancona said Sunday shopping was a missing piece of his business model.

“What I’m seeing now is that I need seven days to get back to my old six days’ worth of business,” Mr. Ancona said. “You have to understand, that is 10% needed to get me back to a full 100%” before Sunday sales were allowed by the state.

Mr. Brennan briefed the audience on Monday, saying he received 21 letters in support of Sunday sales, and no letters in opposition. Previous meetings to address this issue drew little public response.

“It boils down to the fact that most Wilton citizens have a very busy schedule,” he said. “Sunday shopping has become a convenience factor for them. They’re saying, ‘Sunday sales really is not such a big deal.’”

Citing a letter in support of Sunday sales written by the Wilton Chamber of Commerce, Selectman Hal Clark said he would come down in support of the ordinance, though he did not initially expect to.

He reminded the board, and public, they had “an obligation to support business owners.”

Mr. Brennan also noted that business owners in town would have a choice whether or not to be open.

“If the retailer doesn’t want to be open, he doesn’t have to be open,” he said.

Wilton Wine Shoppe, at the least, plans to take advantage of the ability to be open on select Sundays. Tom Prackup, the store’s manager, said he and the owner plan on “picking and choosing” which Sundays they will be open.

“January through March is very quiet,” he said. “We’re not too sure about being open on Sunday during that time. But we certainly want to be open on Sundays before holidays, like Christmas and Easter, and especially on Sundays before holidays which fall on Mondays.”

Wilton liquor stores may now be open on Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. They may not be open Thanksgiving, Christmas, or New Year’s Day.