Proposed bill would allow restaurants to sell alcohol earlier for Sunday brunch

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HARTFORD--A proposed bill would allow Connecticut restaurants to begin serving alcohol at 10 a.m. on Sunday mornings. Current regulations do not allow alcohol sales on Sunday before 11 a.m.

The bill would give many restaurants serving brunch the opportunity to significantly increase profits.

Robert Maffucci, the chef and owner of Vito's By the Park in Hartford, said he would consider opening at 10 a.m. on Sundays if the bill passes.

"Mother's Day is the busiest brunch day of the year," said Maffucci. "And if we can get a whole seating in at 10 instead of 11, then that would be huge."

Agave Grill, which currently opens at 11 a.m. on Sundays because of current liquor regulations, also said it would open earlier. Restaurant management said the extra hour would bring even more business on days when big events attract more people to Hartford, such as the Saint Patrick's Day Parade or UConn games.

"That could be a difference of $500-$1000 for us [each week]," said restaurant manager Jeff Fiorino. "And at the end of the year, you only have a certain amount of time to hit those UConn games, so to get an extra $10,000 or $15,000 added to your revenue is great for us."

Some Agave customers are fans of the proposal.

"I think its awesome," said Michael Beyer. "Start drinking before football starts even earlier."

Others say 10 a.m. is too early.

"I think 10 a.m. is kinda pushing it," said Andrea Hardy. "Brunch is typically around 11 o'clock, so stick to 11 o'clock honestly, just wait another hour."

"[It is] definitely gonna make money," said Gina Flagg. "If it's open, people are gonna buy."

The Connecticut Restaurant Association said it fully supports the bill during a public hearing last week.

The bill is right now moving through the legislature. No word on if or when it could be signed into law.