Reporting Bud Gillett
PLANO (CBSDFW.COM) – Friday was the first day package liquor stores could open in Plano after last month’s municipal election making them legal in the city.
Angel’s Beverages, the first store to clear all the local and state hurdles, spent Friday stock shelves and putting prices on bottles… a task that could take them past midnight. The store won’t sell the new items until it opens at 10:00 am Saturday.
“Today we’re stocking up and tomorrow we’re opening up as fine wine, craft beer, and liquor store,” said Shawn O’Connor, the store’s wine and spirits director.
O’Connor says he used to get 25-calls a day following the election from people wanting to know when they can buy the hard stuff…that was then. “Right now it’s jumped up to about 50 phone calls a day,” he says.
Angel’s was the first store to get the okay from the city of Plano, Collin County, and the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission. Currently there are 15 stores across the city that have applied for permits to sell hard liquor.
O’Connor claims the store is addressing the only concerns it has gotten from the public. “We’ve installed additional security cameras and we’ve increased our safety measures,” he told CBS 11 News.
Jerry Kezhaya is a neighboring businessman who owns My Car Wash. He says the package liquor store will help draw him customers as well as satisfy shoppers’ needs.
“I think it’s about time,” he said adding, “It’s really a wonderful change; I personally don’t see anything that’s detrimental. On any level.” He expects he’ll be the first customer to buy liquor at Angel’s Beverage when the store opens Saturday.
Getting approval from Plano, Collin County, and the TABC is one thing; finding room for 1200 additional bottle in the same space overnight? A different challenge altogether.
The store gets guidance from a liquor distributor which buys lists of what the hot selling items are state-wide and then advises where to display what. “We consolidated our wine a little bit,” according to O’Connor, “and then as we expanded we put some new additions, some new shelving up and we’re able to fit it in perfectly.”
O’Conner says with businesses like Samsung and Cisco nearby, the change will enhance Plano’s international image. “Businesses from all over the world stop in our store were confused about the laws and why we couldn’t sell liquor. So that’ll be a great opportunity to really showcase Plano as an international community,” he said.
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