In the Spirit
BELLEFONTE — Out with the old, in with the new.
If you're purchasing liquor or wine in Bellefonte, there's a new store in town. The Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board officially opened the doors of its new Bellefonte location on Tuesday. The new store is located at 178 Buckaroo Lane, right next door to the new Weis Markets.
The downtown Wines and Spirits shop officially closed its doors on Monday night.
“We outgrew our store in town,” explained PLCB director of retail operations Dale Horst. “We about doubled the size of the store. We were able to work in about 25 percent more product. There's over 2,300 different kinds of wines and spirits in this store.”
According to Horst, when the PLCB started looking for a new location, the open spot on Buckaroo Lane practically jumped off the map.
“This store offers the customer convenience, being located next to a major supermarket … I'm very pleased. This is our new branding package that we've been working on over the last two years. We've either re-located or remodeled up to 60 stores already in the last two years. In the next five to 10 years, we'll work our way through the whole portfolio of stores.”
In addition to outgrowing the store in downtown Bellefonte, there was always the issue of parking. Without a large parking lot or garage nearby, customers had to jockey for a parking spot. That won't be the case at the new location, where parking is plentiful.
“That's one of the improvements here. Customers want one-stop shopping. This gets them about as close to one-stop shopping as we can,” Horst said.
The store offers 1,500 wine products and 900 spirits products, spread out over 4,555 square feet of space.
The store will be open from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays and from noon to 5 p.m. on Sundays.
“We're still confined by legislative law that only 25 percent of our stores can be open on Sundays. We are actively trying to select the correct stores to be open on Sunday. If we're located next to a seven-day-a-week, 24-hour supermarket, then we try to open the store on Sunday,” Horst said.
The new store officially opened its doors on Tuesday morning. Shoppers liked what they saw from the new location.
“It's bigger, it's a new building, it's very, very nice,” said Ken McMullen of Zion. “They have more room here … it was crowded downtown.”
McMullen said that he likes the fact that the store is right next door to a supermarket.
“When we go to Myrtle Beach (S.C.) that's the way it is there. You get everything in the supermarket,” he said.
McMullen was shopping with his wife, Joan.
“I think this store is great,” she said. “It really looks nice.”
During the grand opening, shoppers sampled cheese from Weis Markets and wines from Subarashii Kudamono Co., Inc.
Holly Harter of Hazelton poured samples of the signature Asian Pear Wine. She, too, was impressed with the new store.
“I love it, I think it's wonderful,” Harter said.
The Asian Pear Wines and Spirits will be available year-round in the Bellefonte location. Previously, the wines and spirits were only available at the North Atherton store, Harter explained.
“We're part of the premium program here in Pennsylvania,” Harter said. “This is a perfect location. You can come here, get your wine and then go next door and get your cheese, get your baguette and you're good to go. We're very excited to share our wines with the people of Centre County.”
For more information about the store, visit www.finewineandgoodspirits.com.
IF YOU GO
What: Wines and Spirits Store
Where: 178 Buckaroo Lane
When: Store hours are 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., Monday through Saturday; noon to 5 p.m., Sunday.
More info: www.finewineandgoodspirits.com