Licensed bars and restaurants in Corinth will now be able to sell beer, wine and liquor most days of the week.
On Tuesday, Corinth residents voted 288-279 to allow licensed establishments to sell liquor for on-site consumption Monday through Saturday. In addition, residents voted 290-276 to allow licensed retailers to sell beer and wine every day but Sunday for off-premises consumption.
When it came to Sunday liquor sales, residents were opposed. They voted 306-261 not to allow the sale of liquor for on-premises consumption, and 296-269 not to allow retail beer and wine sales on Sundays.
The narrow vote breaks a decades-long trend of Corinth being a dry town, though residents voted in 2004 to allow licensed agency liquor stores in town, but none are operating there.
Corinth residents voted in the late 1960s and ‘70s not to allow alcohol sales in town, for consumption on and off premises, and those rules remain in effect, according to the Maine State Bureau of Alcoholic Beverages and Lottery Operations.
Residents voted as recently as 2013 not to allow the state to issue licenses for retailers to sell beer and wine on days other than Sunday, according to state data.
Corinth Town Manager Stephen Fields said he recommended the Select Board add the questions to the ballot after the Legislature passed a law last year that gives municipalities the option to reaffirm their liquor laws before July 2022 through a referendum vote.
Corinth wasn’t the only town to vote on its liquor laws Tuesday.
Hartford residents in western Maine voted to allow licensed businesses to sell liquor, beer and wine to be consumed on the premises every day of the week, which will permit a local winery to sell its products and open a tasting room.
The winery’s owners told Maine Public they intended to do so, but discovered Hartford was a dry town when applying for state and local liquor licenses.
In Orland, residents voted 282-93 to approve an ordinance allowing drinking at bars in town on Sundays.
Orland initially did so nearly 30 years ago, but found out in December from the state that the vote was invalid, so the question was put back on the ballot.
Hartford hadn’t reported election results as of 12:30 a.m. Wednesday.