County Liquor Department Opening Spirits-Only Store in Poolesville

County Liquor Department Opening Spirits-Only Store in Poolesville

Addition intended to boost traffic for local retailers

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spiritsstore

A spirits-only county store will come to the Village Shopping Center this winter.

Photo by Charlie Wright

Montgomery County’s Alcohol Beverages Services will open a spirits-only store in Poolesville, designed to retain customers in the area for a pair of retailers selling beer and wine.

The store is expected to arrive in the Village Shopping Center at 19710-D Fisher Ave. in late 2019. It will be Fisher Avenue, the same street as Village Beer & Wine and Poolesville Beer Wine & Cheese.

The ABS outlet will sell strictly spirits to retain customers in the Poolesville area for the two current retailers, both of whom have lost business due to their selection.

“The people that live in Poolseville that would normally shop at those licensees, if they’re looking to get more than beer and wine, they’ll end up at one of the county stores five or 10 minutes down the road, instead of staying in town and supporting those local businesses,” said Kent Massie, the ABS division chief of retail operations.

Massie has heard complaints from residents about accessibility to products and from licensees about struggling to keep customers from going to full-service county locations.

The Poolesville store will not be the last spirits-only spot in the county, as Massie is working with its real estate agent to explore other underserved locations that could benefit from this type of addition.

“The big thing is you have to measure the accessibility of the product with the impact on the community and making sure we’re still maintaining a safe community,” Massie said. “Obviously, we don’t want a liquor store on every corner, but there’s definitely room for growth in the county in several areas.”

The owner of Village Beer & Wine declined to share his name, but said the addition of a spirits-only store would help business. “We’re glad it’s coming,” he said.

The owner of Poolesville Beer Wine & Cheese could not be reached for comment and an employee declined to discuss the new store.

The county outlet is on track to open before Christmas, as long as work can be completed by the Nov. 1 cutoff date set by the county, Massie said. The lease has been agreed upon. It’s now up to the contractors to complete the project before the spirits industry picks up during the holiday months.

“We’re pushing as hard as we can to get it in before Christmas, because, obviously, we want the business, and we want the people of Poolseville to have the accessibility,” Massie said.

The store would open in January if construction isn’t completed by November.

Charlie Wright can be reached at charlie.wright@bethesdamagazine.com

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