Corks owner Clay Young stands inside his new liquor store on East Main Street which features a custom-made counter. Corks, which opens Thursday, will carry a variety of wines and spirits.
Corks owner Clay Young stands inside his new liquor store on East Main Street which features a custom-made counter. Corks, which opens Thursday, will carry a variety of wines and spirits.
Philadelphia's first liquor store is expected to open Thursday.

Corks, at 1112 East Main St., is set to open at 10 a.m., owner Clay Young said Tuesday morning as he began to stock the former warehouse building which has been totally remodeled.

"I've always wanted a liquor store," Young said. "I've been in business since I was 19."

The name "Corks" was suggested by his wife, Amanda.

"She's been more involved than she ever has before," Young said of their latest business venture. "She came up with many of the ideas for the store."

The store features antique barrels and logging chains hanging from the ceiling as part of the lighting.

"Six weeks ago it was just an old warehouse," Young said. "Look at it now, it's awesome."

"My wife looked on the Internet for the shelves we wanted," he said. "She printed off a sheet and gave it to Mike [Tinsley] to build. This is different than anything I've ever done before. My wife stood behind me and if not for Mike I'm not sure how we could have done it."

The store will be open Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. It will be closed on Sundays and on Christmas Day.

Young said he will sell a variety of spirits, including fine, middle and low-end wines.

"We'll have 800 cases starting off but that will go up," he said. "I'm tickled about it."

Young will also be taking requests, noting that he could order a particular brand one day and have it in stock the next.

"We'll also have specials each month," Young said. "We'll also expand out if necessary."

Among the employees at the new store are Diana Jordan and Ike Martin. There will also be a security guard on duty.

"We want to make it to where people are comfortable here," Young said.

An ordinance that would allow for the sale of wine and liquor in the city was adopted last June by the Philadelphia Mayor and Board of Aldermen, opening the way for package liquor stores by late summer or early fall.

In a prior municipal election, residents overwhelmingly approved the legal sale of alcoholic liquors in the city with nearly 75 percent of the vote.

Officials have said that the sale of wine and liquor would attract new business and help existing ones in the city.

The effort to bring new retail opportunities, particularly restaurants, to Philadelphia stemmed from a charrette (pronounced shuh-ret) held here in early 2010.

An estimated $12.3 million in sit-down restaurant business leaves Philadelphia annually.