Commonwealth Journal


September 24, 2012

Liquor World on its way?

Somerset —  

Liquor World’s quest to open a flagship store in Somerset demonstrates the high-stakes involved in landing one of only five available licenses for a full-line package store here.
“We’re ready to buy and remodel Somerset’s North Plaza Shopping Center for the Somerset Liquor World if we are awarded a license,” Wesley Morgan, CEO of Liquor World headquartered in Richmond, said during an interview yesterday. “Everything is ready, all we have to do is get the license, sign the paperwork, and we’re ready to go.”
A sign announcing Liquor World’s intentions is expected to be erected at North Plaza — home of Big Lots and Peddlers Mall — today.
Liquor World is one of 17 businesses competing for Somerset’s five package store licenses—a quota determined by the state Alcohol Beverage Control (ABC) agency based on population and economic factors. (See accompanying chart of license applicants.)
What distinguishes Liquor World is that it appears to be the only business prepared to invest $5 million to purchase and remodel North Plaza Shopping Center on North U.S. 27.
“We plan to remodel the former [Home Gallery] furniture store into a 20,000- square-foot liquor store with a drive-through service window as our new Somerset store,” Morgan said.
A former hair salon located on the south side of the old Home Gallery will be removed to make way for Liquor World’s drive-through window.
“The former Tray’s Garden and Jewelry Factory buildings will be remodeled and prepared for new tenants. Big Lots and Peddlers Mall each have leases to 2015, so they will continue business at their current locations.
“We are also in talks with Texas Roadhouse to build a restaurant in the plaza,” Morgan noted.
Morgan said the Somerset Liquor World would hire between 15 and 25 employees from the local labor force.

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