BROOKLIN — This coastal town just got a little wetter.
Thanks to a referendum the town of Brooklin held Monday, retail sales of hard liquor will soon be allowed for the first time in town, specifically at the Brooklin General Store.
The results of Monday’s referendum will allow the store to sell spirits every day of the week, including Sunday. The store is already licensed to sell beer and wine.
Brooklin General co-owner Lorinda Toscas said via email Tuesday that she doesn’t have a date yet for when the store will be stocked with liquor.
“We’re hoping soon but there are a few more steps to the process,” Toscas said.
The referendum had two questions.
The first question was “Shall this municipality authorize the state to permit the operation of agency liquor stores on days other than Sundays?”
That vote was 32-5 in favor.
The second question was “Shall this municipality authorize the state to permit the operation of agency liquor stores on Sundays?
That vote was also in the affirmative but not as decisive, 28-10.
Bill Cohen, who chairs the Board of Selectmen, said many years ago, there was a statewide referendum on retail liquor sales.
Brooklin opted not to allow retail liquor sales in town.
“For some reason Brooklin voted no,” Cohen said. “We discovered it [the past vote] when the general store had applied to be an agency liquor store.”
The state of Maine informed the store and the town that residents would have to hold a referendum to see if liquor sales would be allowed, Cohen said.
Retail liquor licenses differ from liquor licenses for dining establishments.
At least two local restaurants, The Brooklin Inn and the Lookout, have had bustling bar businesses with rum and vodka drinks, among others, for many years.