City's three new liquor stores report brisk sales, 1 considering expansion
Wednesday, October 23, 2013 1:00 AM
Three liquor stores have opened in Philadelphia since August, one of which is already considering an expansion.
A wide selection of chardonnay and other wines are available at Myxer’s on Beacon Street. The liquor store is one of three to open in the city since August. Two more stores are seeking permits. All three stores have reported brisk sales. City voters approved the sale of wine and liquor by nearly 75 percent in a June referendum.
In addition, two other stores and two restaurants in the city have applied for permits to sell liquor.
The Mayor and Board of Aldermen passed an ordinance allowing for the sale of wine and liquor in restaurants and package stores, after nearly 75 percent of voters gave overwhelming support in a June 4 referendum.
Owners of the three liquors stores - Corks on East Main Street, Myxer's on west Beacon Street and Sips & Nips on Holland Avenue - have reported brisk sales.
Awaiting liquor permits are Joey's on Holland Avenue and The Spot on west Beacon Street as well as the two restaurants: Los Rodeos on east Main Street and Old Mexico on west Beacon Street.
Corks, owned by Clay Young, was the first to open.
"I've always wanted a liquor store," Young said. "I've been in business since I was 19."
Since we opened on Aug. 29, business has been good, he said.
"There are a lot of people supporting us," Young said.
Corks currently has over 250 different types of wines and over 100 different spirits.
"We get in 15 to 20 new items a week," Young said. "We've had to add new shelves with so many people coming in."
If business continues like this through the Christmas season, Young said he might add on to his building.
"I want to have the biggest wine selection in the area," he said.
The other liquor stores have also done well.
Melinda Gilmer, store manager for Myxer's Wines, Spirits and Liquor, said that business has been steady and great in the three weeks they've been open.
"We've done better than expected," she said, "and we expect it to keep on booming."
Myxer's, like Corks, is taking requests for customers on what items to bring in.
"We get what everyone wants," Gilmer said. "It's a full-time job. We get what people want to drink."
Sips & Nips, the most recently opened store, is also doing well.
Judy O'Neal, of Sips & Nips, said that since opening over a week ago business hasn't been bad.
We're still trying to get everything in," she said.
Russell Hanna of Mississippi Alcoholic Beverage Control meet with the Mayor and Board of Aldermen this summer, giving an overview of the state's alcohol laws and outlining what guidelines liquor stores and restaurants must abide by.
An extensive background check is required before a license is granted.
Rules on where a package store can be located depend on whether the building is in a commercial or residential area.
In commercial areas, package stores must be at least 100 feet from churches, schools, etc. The range increases to 400 feet for residential areas.
Package stores must also be a separate business.
A business owner cannot just create a section in their store for liquor; it must be in its own facility.
Once a package store opens, it must follow certain rules.
Package stores can only sell alcoholic beverages, corkscrews, wine glasses and mixers. They also cannot sell liquor on Sunday or on Christmas Day.
Restaurants must make 25 percent of their income from food sales, no less.
They must also provide a copy of their menu to the state.
Hanna told aldermen that Philadelphia would probably see more liquor stores opening than are needed at first.
By the third year the number of new permits typically taper off, he said.