For the first time in more than a decade, Feb. 14 is falling on a Sunday — and that means in 14 states and hundreds of cities and counties across the U.S., liquor laws could be hampering toasts — and sales.
So-called blue laws in states from Connecticut to Indiana restrict the sale of alcohol on Sunday, as do local regulations elsewhere. Arguments about repealing these laws broke out in 2009 as the recession swelled, and the promise of extra income started to weigh more heavily against religious reservations. Valentine’s Day has exacerbated the issue in at least nine states, where restaurants and revenue-sensitive politicians would prefer not to lose out on the holiday cash.
Along with New Year’s Eve and Mother’s Day, Valentine’s Day is one of the most profitable days of the year for dining establishments; seven other calendar days, including Super Bowl Sunday, have already been granted blue-law exemptions in some states. “We felt like Valentine’s Day had just been overlooked,” says Missouri State Representative Bill Deeken. In January, Deeken proposed “Love Legislation” that would allow restaurants and bars that lacked annual Sunday liquor licenses to be open and sell alcohol on Valentine’s Day.

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