Several changes to Kansas liquor laws went into effect Sunday, but not much will change for local liquor retailers, at least in the short term.
Liquor stores may now offer taste tests of their wares in the shop. Don Vinduska, owner of R & D Liquor in Hillsboro and employee of D & J Liquor in Marion, doesn’t plan to take advantage of the new law because of the regulatory requirements of any taste tests.
“The rules and regulations are a nightmare,” Vinduska said. “They say you can do it, but they put so many rules on there … typical bureaucracy.”
He expects the change will affect mostly retailers in Wichita and other large cities with big customer bases.
Annette Nienstedt, owner of Roxy’s Place in Lincolnville, wants to offer taste tests when she has a better understanding of the requirements of the law.
“There are a lot of hoops to jump through,” she said.
She plans to use taste tests mostly to introduce new products.
David Yates, owner of Superior Wine & Liquor in Marion, doesn’t plan to offer taste tests, at least not at first. He thinks there is too much opportunity for abuse of a taste test.
If he does offer taste tests, it will be down the road and probably limited to wine tastings. Yates said he doesn’t need any new gimmicks to improve sales; business has been good without taste tests.
The opportunity for liquor retailers to offer taste tests isn’t the only change in Kansas liquor laws that went into effect Sunday.
- Bars and restaurants will now be able to offer “happy hour” drink specials. Previously any drink specials were required to last an entire day.
- Bars and restaurants will also be able to offer discounted drink prices to specific groups, such as “ladies’ night” drink specials.