CHATHAM, NJ - The Borough of Chatham Council agreed to amend its ordinance regulating the sale of liquor on Sundays, which will allow Bottle King, located at 41 Watchung Ave. in Chatham to open before 12 p.m..
The council informally agreed at its regular meeting held Tuesday night to draw up an amendment that would allow for a 10 a.m. opening of Bottle King on Sundays. Jim Rilee, representing Bottle King, said he would be happy with the 10 a.m. time, but would probably start opening at 11 a.m. at first.
"Sunday antiquated liquor laws that impact our business, really go back to prohibition," Rilee said. "I'm here to request that you extend those hours. We're like any other business out there. Customers show up at 11:30 and realize we're not open and get frustrated. I was watching on the camera one time and it took literally 10 minutes for them to get all the people lined up into the store when it opened. This was around the holidays."
Bottle King has eight stores in New Jersey and Rilee noted that Livingston is about to officially change its hours for Sunday from 12 noon to 5 p.m. to 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.
"It's important to us and our business," Rilee said. "We do lose a lot of business to other towns that open earlier. People are leaving town to buy their beer, wine or spirits instead of locally. We're not a seedy bar, we're just like any other business in town, like a deli."