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Business and Economy

Two Maine towns end decades long ban on alcohol sales

Prohibition 100 Years
Charles Krupa
In this Dec. 10, 2019, photo a vast array of fine single malt scotch bottles are displayed at Wink & Nod, basement-dwelling, speakeasy-like bar, in Boston. In this era of bottomless mimosas, craft beers and ever-present happy hours, it’s striking to recall that 100 years ago the United States imposed a nationwide ban on the production and sale of all types of alcohol.

After decades of being dry, two Maine towns voted Tuesday to allow the sale of alcohol by licensed retailers.

Corinth residents voted 288-279 to allow licensed businesses to sell liquor for on-site consumption Monday through Saturday. Residents also voted to allow retailers to sell beer and wine every day but Sunday for off-premises consumption. Corinth Town Manager Stephen Fields said the tight vote margin reflects the town’s shifting demographics.

The community's changed, the diversity's changed, so with that comes the results of the [vote] directly. Some citizens want to see change, and some want to keep the status the same," Fields said.

Residents of Hartford, Maine also voted to allow the sale of liquor, which is welcome news for the local winery Bonaventura Vineyards. Owners Jen and Chad Bonaventura said that they are relieved and excited to finally be able to sell their products, and that the response from the community has been positive.

"I know that there are a few folks that, you know, had concerns about the town going from dry to wet, but for the most part it has been an overwhelmingly positive response, and very supportive," Jen Bonaventura said.

The referendums on the sale of alcohol come after a law passed by the legislature last year that gave Maine municipalities the option to reaffirm their liquor laws by public vote before July of this year.