Olathe City Council looking at changing liquor store hours for Sunday

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OLATHE, Kan. — Imagine this. It’s a Sunday and the Kansas City Chiefs are playing a noon game.

Life is good right?

Not if you forgot to buy the alcohol for your party. At least, that’s the situation in Kansas where liquor stores don’t open until noon.

But things are changing.

On Tuesday night, Olathe’s city council is considering something that many city councils in Kansas will be looking at this year.

The basic question is should respective municipalities match their ordinances with new state law which allows retail liquor sales to start earlier on Sundays at 9 a.m.

Tyler Mitchell works at Brown Bag Liquor in Olathe. He knows the store as well as his own liquor cabinet. He also knows the flow of Sunday customers.

“Normally we’ll come in a little bit early and kind of get things set up for folks, you know, kind of anticipating that people will be waiting,” Mitchell said.

“It’s really busy at noon,” Steve Nelson, owner of Brown Bag Liquor, said.

Nelson said, coincidentally or appropriately, Brown Bag Liquor celebrated its 21st birthday last weekend. He also said some things have changed since they opened.

“It was kind of nice when we were younger and we were small and we were really trying to grow our business. And it was nice to have Sunday off because Sundays we were closed and it was the only day you didn’t have to worry about anything,” Nelson said.

Now Sundays are fair game. And the possibility of expanded hours. A change that could happen by the end of summer is a strong draw.

“I don’t know that we’ll open right at 9 o’clock but I think the market will tell us what we need to do,” Nelson said.

Mitchell also said he does not think earlier Sunday hours will necessarily lead to more business.

“Granted, you know, Chiefs games coinciding with noon is something of note. But do I think they would be storming the doors at 9 a.m.? I do not,” Mitchell said.

Olathe City Council members vote on the proposal at Tuesday night’s meeting which starts at 6:45 p.m. If it passes there is a 60-day petition period. Without a challenge the new time rules could go into effect by September.

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