Commentary

Letters to the Editor

Beer Today, Gone Tomorrow

Never on Sunday: Jessica Centers did a great job with "Last Call," in the March 30 issue. Blake Harrison isn't alone in wishing he could buy a six-pack of his favorite brew on Sunday. I can't remember the last time my buddies and I tipped a couple on a weekend afternoon, but last Sunday we did. Yep, I had to drive over to my local liquor store on Saturday night to get ready. Sure, I'd like to buy my beer on Sunday. I also understand why the fellow who owns the mom-and-pop I use doesn't wish to give up his family time on Sunday. However, a law allowing the sale of liquor on Sunday doesn't mean that fellow has to be open. That is a business decision, and it rests in his hands. There have always been restaurateurs who have chosen to be closed on Mondays; that becomes their family time. They still seem to be plenty busy the other six days, and remain that way by giving good service and offering a popular product.

The owner of the Bonnie Brae Wine and Liquor Mart worries about the intrusion of the "Wal-Marts and Safeways of the world," but if independent liquor-store owners would allow their lobby to lighten their opposition to Sunday liquor sales, fellows like Mr. Harrison would not be forced to promote the tangential issue of liquor sales in the chain stores. Beer lovers all have their favorite liquor stores and are not interested so much in buying a six-pack at Safeway as they are in shopping in the familiar environs of their favorite store on Sunday morning. The chain stores enter the equation solely because they provide the political clout needed to take on the liquor-store advocates on Capitol Hill.

Let's hope Blake Harrison's stubborn perseverance frees up Denver beer drinkers to pick up a six at Bonnie Brae some Sunday just before the Broncos kick off.

Jim Regan
Denver

Through a glass, darkly: So little twelve-year-old Blakie had a dream to serve the public interest and let Bud drinkers buy their beer seven days a week, thus being spared the admittedly minor hassle of stocking up on Saturday. Sounds reasonable. Of course, Blakie didn't realize that Wal-Mart wasn't going to stock the strange microbrews I like, like Stone Levitation Ale or Old Scratch.

I guess I am not part of "the public." And the families of all the microbreweries that go out of business, they aren't "the public," either. And the families of the thousands of bankrupt liquor stores, they aren't "the public." Even the Bud drinkers will have to pay more for their beer, due to reduced competition. They must not be "the public," either.

The only people who clearly benefit from the plan are the owners of Wal-Mart (unless you think Wal-Mart cashiers will get the profits). I guess that, once again, what is done in the name of "the public" will end up benefiting about ten very rich people. But first it will be put to a vote, in which "the public" will vote for whoever spends the most money on an emotional propaganda campaign. Will MADD and the mom-and-pop stores have more money, or will Wal-Mart and Target?

I guess you win, little Blakie. Is it too late to have this request reviewed by, say, a thirteen-year-old?

Mark Jonjak
Berthoud

A really super supermarket: Several years ago, my husband and I visited a small town upriver from Baton Rouge and rented a cottage just down the street from a little neighborhood grocery. I remembered that Louisiana grocery stores can sell beer, wine and liquor, but I'd forgotten that they can sell them apparently any old time they please. Our first morning there was Sunday and the grocery opened at 7 a.m. We walked down to get breakfast supplies and came home with andouille sausage, eggs, milk, a pint of picked crab meat, some good California wine and a six-pack of Dixie beer. The shopper ahead of us in line had picked up a fifth of Glenlivet Scotch and a loaf of French bread. Talk about your one-stop shopping.

I told the checkout clerk that we lived in a place where you can't buy alcohol on Sundays and okra costs $5 a pound. Her response: "Lah, honey, who in the world would want to live in a place like that?"

Who indeed?

Shay Lynn
Centennial


No Funking Way

For whom the Belmar tolls: Regarding Jared Jacang Maher's "Urban Flight," in the March 30 issue:

Belmar funky? No. Belmar synthetic, corporate; Belmar second-string big-box; Belmar structured, planned and branded. But funky? Not even the minds behind it.

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