Several Laurel liquor store owners are preparing to add another workday to their schedules because a new liquor law that took effect today will allow a special Sunday off-sale permit to sell beer, wine and liquor in Prince George's County.

After approval from the Maryland House and Senate in mid-April, the bill will allow the Prince George's County Board of License Commissioners to issue permits to the holder of any Class A or B beer, wine, and liquor license with an off-sale privilege. Stores will be permitted to sell alcohol from 8 a.m. to midnight on Sundays.


In addition to the licensee's annual fee for an existing license, permit holders will also pay $2,590 for a Class A license, or $1,080 for a Class B license, for Sunday sales. Application fees for the permit are $750.

Along Washington Boulevard in Laurel, Camelot Liquors manager Bhavin Patel said he has already applied for the license. With the new law soon in effect, Patel believes the license would allow his business to keep up with others in nearby counties, such as Howard and Anne Arundel, which are already able to sell alcohol on Sundays.

"It would be good for me and my employees and my customers because [now] they have to go all the way across [the other counties] and they can't get the right price," Patel said. "I don't know about what prices the other liquor stores have, but I think I'm cheaper than others."

Patel said the new law would also benefit the county's financial and employment status.

"[Prince George's County ] is losing money," he said. "There may be more employment [if they're open]."

According to the law, Prince George's County revenues from application and permit fees for Sunday sales are expected to increase by an estimated $308,180 in fiscal year 2016, and by at least $210,680 annually beginning in fiscal year 2017.

Jeen Choi, owner of Astor Wine and Liquors in the Laurel Shopping Center, said he has also applied for the license and is "ready to bring in more business." But, Choi said, he will only open Sundays if other businesses do so.

"If [other businesses] aren't open Sundays, then I will be closed Sundays, too," Choi said. "But, if my other competition opens on Sundays, then I stay open."

Cork and Bottle liquor store employee Mia Kim has been working for her father's store on Main Street for more than 30 years. Although the law could change her schedule, Kim said she doesn't see the business opening on Sundays.

"Everybody needs a day off," Kim said. "If nobody's going to have a day off, at least the [previous] law said you have to have a day off. Everybody needs one day off [a week] so they can mingle with their families, go to church, whatever you need to do."

While she spends her Sundays observing her faith and being with family, Kim said she understands why other stores want an extra day of business.

"People who [just think], 'Money, money, money,' that's all good," she said. "Let them do that. You can't just fight over or get hung up on, 'Oh, who's doing what?' I have my own niche on how to work with my customers. I try to do things other people don't do."

For some stores already open on Sundays, such as All Saints Liquor on All Saints Road, it will be business as usual with no worries about competition. The owner of All Saints Liquor said he knew the law was bound to happen and has prepared for such an occurrence. But, he said he isn't worried about losing customers because of their proximity, making his store within walking distance.

Kim agreed.


"You do what you can," Kim said. "Just do well at what you know, which is greeting your customer as nice as possible and you get to know your neighbor just like your family and friends."