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Liquor stores end 2020 on a high note

Marketview Liquor manager Tom Kearny stocks shelves on New Year's Eve
Mike Martin
Marketview Liquor manager Tom Kearny stocks shelves on New Year's Eve

While people stock up for the New Year's celebration, liquor stores are wrapping up a year of unusual business.

Jim Yeager, owner of Pinnacle Wine and Liquor on Monroe Avenue, said the holiday season is always their busiest time of year. This year, with gatherings restricted and nightclubs closed because of COVID-19 precautions, celebrations are looking more intimate.

“I kind of get the impression that everybody -- even though they may not be going to a party -- wants to have a bottle of sparkling wine to usher in the new year and say goodbye to the old year,” Yeager said.

Business has been up this year, he said, and with the pandemic keeping people home a lot more than usual, they’ve had to adjust, switching to online orders and curbside pickup.

“Our whole way of doing business, I think has changed permanently,” he said.

It’s more work this way, he said, and the shop wasn’t exactly designed with the kind of storage they’d need for large amounts of pickup orders.

Over at Marketview Liquor in Henrietta, they’ve also had to adapt. Mike Martin, the general manager, said business has also been booming for them all year.

“We’re not used to it being so busy in April, May, June, July,” Martin said. “It’s just been a steady build. So, Christmas and Thanksgiving business was that much better because business has been so good.” 

Along with pickup and in-store shopping, they offer delivery through Drizly, an alcohol ecommerce platform.

“It can be challenging because it’s pretty labor-intensive,” he said. “People want to get their orders pretty quickly, and it takes a couple hours to get everything together.”

Yeager said that like any year, when they close for the New Year's holiday, it’s with a great sigh of relief.

Noelle E. C. Evans is WXXI's Murrow Award-winning Education reporter/producer.
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