Despite two votes against, the township council approved a resolution recently to allow for an extension of hours of selling liquor at Wegmans and other stores in Bridgewater just before Christmas and New Year’s.
“We received a request for an extension of operating hours from Wegmans on two pivotal days for them,” said township administrator James Naples. “The resolution extends to all distribution centers in town.”
Naples said it would apply to four businesses in Bridgewater. They are Spirits of the Valley in Martinsville, Elliott's Beverages on Union Avenue, Buy Best Wine & Liquors on Union Avenue and Wegman's Liquor Store on Route 202.
According to the township’s ordinance, there is no sale of alcoholic beverages allowed before 11 a.m. on Sundays.
The new resolution will allow the businesses to begin selling liquor at 9 a.m. only on Dec. 23 and Dec. 30.
“I believe we have done this in the past, and there were no repercussions from it,” said council president Allen Kurdyla.
But councilmen Filipe Pedroso and Howard Norgalis said they don’t understand why this extra time is needed, particularly since the stores are open for business on Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve.
“I don’t get from their letter why they need it,” Pedroso said. “I could see if [the day before Christmas] was Sunday and the hours were shortened because of that day.”
Naples said Dec. 23 and Dec. 30 are usually the busiest days of the entire year for Wegmans, according to the request, so they are trying to capture additional sales.
“My feeling is there is no downside to it,” said councilman Matthew Moench. “If Bridgewater retail establishments want a couple more hours for selling to Bridgewater residents, I support it.”
Pedroso and Norgalis voted against the resolution, but it still passed with three positive votes.