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Crowds line up in Grovetown to buy alcohol

Posted: December 19, 2011 - 10:14am  |  Updated: December 19, 2011 - 1:04pm
Dangelo Turner gets some beer at the IGA grocery store in Grovetown on Sunday afternoon.  Michael Holahan
Michael Holahan
Dangelo Turner gets some beer at the IGA grocery store in Grovetown on Sunday afternoon.

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This was the first Sunday Grovetown stores were able to sell alcohol, and customers were lining up.

After a unanimous vote by city council Dec. 12 to amend the city’s alcohol ordinance, Sunday carry-out sales of beer, wine and liquor started with a strong turnout.

Because GT Package Shop and Billy Jack’s were both closed, customers were only able to buy beer or wine, but that did not stop them.

“We had a line all the way around the store,” said Christopher Bourgoin, the second assistant manager of the Grovetown IGA at 110 Harlem-Grovetown Road. “People were waiting in the store for 12:30 p.m. to hit.”

Before the ordinance passed, people from the area would have to drive to the city of Aiken, which has a special permit for Sunday sales.

“People are tired of going to South Carolina,” Bourgoin said. “It’s a long drive.”

Michael Schuker of Grovetown was in IGA buying beer and wings in preparation of watching some football with his wife and friends.

He said there were times that he had forgotten to buy on Saturday and ended up having to drive to Aiken.

“It’s really nice and convenient not to have to buy in bulk,” Schuker said. “Plus, I think the tax dollars will be good for the city. It’s better that it’s here and not somewhere else.”

Bourgoin said IGA had sold more alcohol on Sunday than it does most days.

“I had a few say they didn’t even need it but bought it just because they could,” he said.

But Bourgoin does not think the novelty will wear off. He hopes the store’s Sunday alcohol sales will stay strong with people from nearby areas like Harlem, Thomson and Evans.

Cameron Herrin, an employee at A&S Market, 317 E. Robinson Ave., had a similar experience.

“We had a lot of people say the only reason they were buying is because they wanted to be the first ones to buy on Sunday,” he said.

They also had a line develop in the store around 12:30 p.m., and the interest stayed steady throughout the day.

“Once people get used to it, it will die down,” said Herrin. “Other than the alcohol, it’s been a normal Sunday.”

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