Legislation passed in New York state's 2023 fiscal year budget allows liquor stores to open on Christmas Day. The new option is getting mixed feedback.

The FX Matt Brewing Company, known as the West End Brewing Company in 1933, was the first brewery to have a license and legally sell beer after prohibition. From their sodas to their liquor and IPAs, the FX Matt Brewing Company has come a long way.

Their name isn’t only recognized for its drinks, but also the huge community events they’ve built around their beverages – the Boilermaker Post Race Party and Saranac Thursdays. They’ll also have a prohibition party this Friday and Saturday.

Fred Matt said the brewery’s name is a tribute to his great-grandfather.

“I'm fourth generation. My second generation did a fantastic job running the company. The third generation did a great job of running the company, and now, I'm just fortunate enough to pick up where they left off and build it from there," Matt said.

Just as the iconic brewery has come a long way, so has liquor rights. But have the rights gone too far?

New legislation allows liquor stores to open on Christmas Day in New York. That’s not sitting well with some folks, including Heena Baidwan at Sugarwood Wines and Liquors.

“I mean, not that they're making us stay open, but it's like the only day where we don't have to open at all. So now that we do have to open, or they're making it an option for you to open, is just like I said, it's not a great feeling. It's taking away from our family and our loved ones," Baidwan said.

Of course, we don’t know what Christmas customer numbers look like for liquor stores in New York state yet, but Baidwan said Christmas Eve is usually one of their busiest days of the year.

So there’s a dilemma for some people, to either choose to open and possibly make money, but miss time with loved ones, or spend time with loved ones and possibly miss out on a profit.

Plus, there’s the challenge of getting workers.

“Kids get to spend time with their parents all day. They're off from school. Parents are off all day from work. So it's just unfortunate. We are a very small-owned business, and it is a family-owned business. So the fact that even if you were to hire a college student or anyone, you've got to pay time and a half on Christmas. It's not like anybody is just going to work for normal pay. And even then, you still have to be here as an owner. You have to make sure that the show is going and everything is running smoothly. You can't just rely on your employees on a very busy day," Baidwan said.

At the FX Matt Brewery, which does not have a liquor store, the bar will be open Christmas Eve until 3 p.m., but they don’t plan on opening the bar on Christmas Day. 

“When all your college friends are home, that's kind of a fun night to go out. You know, everybody's kind of tired at that point to go out and see your friends and socialize. That's a fun night. So I think that, you know, as a bar, I can see it more than a liquor store. But, you know, if there's business, go for it," said Matt.

The move to allow liquor stores to be open on Dec. 25 was passed in Gov. Kathy Hochul’s fiscal year 2023 budget.