UPDATE 4/4/2019: Artisan’s petition supports a resolution that Dutchess County Legislator Frits Zernike has authored, which requests that the law be changed to allow wine and liquor stores to remain open longer. Read more about that resolution - being presented on Thursday, April 4 - here.
If you’ve ever sauntered to Artisan Wine Shop on a summer evening, only to be met with a “Closed” sign at 7:30 pm, it’s not because they want to call it a night. Wine and liquor stores in Dutchess County are not allowed to stay open past 7 pm. Many people leaving their desk in New York City, Westchester County or Poughkeepsie (or anywhere else that involves extended commute times) often arrive home after 7 pm. Which means they are not able to shop for wine after 7 pm.
Currently, the hours of retail sale of wine and liquor in Dutchess County are restricted to 9 am to 7 pm on weekdays (defined as Monday to Saturday), and 9 am to 10 am on New Year’s, Memorial, Independence, Labor, and Thanksgiving days. You read that right - one hour on those holidays. “We usually don’t even open on Thanksgiving, Memorial Day, or the Fourth of July,” said a staff member from Artisan Wine Shop when A Little Beacon Blog called to confirm the one-hour holiday policy on those days.
People can, however, walk down to a wine bar, like Chill or Oak Vino, who can be open late into the night. Or, people could stop into a beer shop, like Beacon Craft Beer Shoppe next door to Key Food, to stock up on creatively brewed craft beer. People could decide to patronize any of the growing number of craft breweries in the area, like Two Way Brewing or Hudson Valley Brewing Company. While you’re at it, a person could even go to a whiskey distillery tasting room, like Dennings Point Distillery by Rite Aid, to sip a little and listen to live music late at night.
The Fight To Extend Open Hours For Wine and Liquor Stores Continues
Wine and liquor stores have tried to change this in the past. Crossroads Wine and Spirit in Fishkill wrote an email in 2014 to local government, asking that it reconsider the early closing time, especially considering other counties in New York had later closing times. In 2015, a resolution went through Beacon, asking Dutchess County to reconsider the early closing time (see resolution PDFs here). From Beacon’s 2015 Resolution to Dutchess County:
“The City Council of the City of Beacon hereby requests the Dutchess County Board of Legislators recognize the current County liquor store closing hours create an inconvenience to County residents, visitors to the County and it is also detrimental to the business owners and taxpayers, as it forces dollars that would otherwise be spent in Duchess County to be spent elsewhere and that therefore, the hours of operation for liquor stores on Monday through Saturday be permitted to be from 9:00 am to 10:00 pm.”
Today - People and Businesses Continue To Want Wine and Liquor Stores Open Longer
Now it’s March 2019, and there is a stack of signatures on a petition on the counter at Artisan Wine Shop, asking Dutchess County to let wine and liquor shops stay open until at least 9 pm.
From Artisan Wine Shop’s petition, supporters from all over Dutchess County - not just Beacon - are encouraged to write to their county legislators, both to the General legislature email address, and to one’s own county legislator directly.
From the petition: “We're asking Dutchess County residents to email the Dutchess County Legislature to make the biggest impact. And please forward this to your family, friends, colleagues and acquaintances in the county (as many outside of Beacon as possible too!).“
Emails To Send Open Hour Extension Requests To:
General legislature address: CountyLegislature@DutchessNY.gov
For Beacon: firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com
Artisan Wine Shop is located at 180 Main Street, Beacon, NY. And they’re only open until 7 pm, so plan accordingly.