By Ray Carbone
WARNER – State officials are expecting the new NH Liquor & Wine Outlet off Route 103 to open earlier than originally predicted.
J. Powers, who provides communication services for the NH Liquor Commission, said late last week that the 10,500-square-foot retail store is expected to open July, but not before the July Fourth weekend.
“Construction is proceeding along well, so we’ll have an announcement later this month,” Powers said. “In terms of a specific opening date, it’s right around the corner. We’re ahead of schedule.”
“With 2,200 wines, 1,400 spirits, (and) iPad kiosks that will (let people) consider wine-food pairings.”
The new store, which is located in the same shopping center where McDonalds, CircleK/Dunkin Donuts, Aubuchon Hardware and the Market Basket supermarket are currently located. The commission will be leasing the building from the Market Basket company, which is based in Massachusetts.
Selectman Clyde Carson, who worked with the municipal group that helped locate the store, said town leaders are pleased with the result. “The project goes back a few years,” he explained. “The selectmen were aware that the state wanted to put a liquor store at that location. The state had a choice. They could have bought one of the adjoining lots (to the plaza), or they could have worked with Market Basket, to have them build the building to their specifications. And that’s what the town leaders wanted.
“From our perspective, that was the best. Market Basket owning it, that brings tax revenue to the town,” Carson added. “If the state bought its own property, then the lot would be off the tax roles, and the building and the property isn’t taxable.”
Joseph Mollica, chairman of the liquor commission, said the state will also benefit from the new store. “Strategically located in a busy plaza and easily accessible to the traveling public, particularly those visiting the Mount Sunapee region, we expect this store to drive considerable revenue for the state of New Hampshire and support critical services and programs, including education, health and social services, transportation and natural resource protection,” he said at the time of last year’s announcement. “We expect this new store to pay major dividends for New Hampshire.”
State Sen. Dan Feltes, who represents Warner, agreed, adding that the new store should also expand economic opportunities for town residents and increase tourism along the I-89 corridor.
The location, by exit 9 off Interstate 89, will be exposed to 28,500 motorists daily which is expected to result in $5.5 million in annual sales, Powers explained. Customers will be able to choose from a selection of about 2,200 wines and about 1,400 spirits in a state-of-the-art shopping environment that includes sections devoted to premium and ultra-premium spirits, high-end wines and temperature/humidity-controlled wine vaults, and iPad kiosks that will allow customers to review inventory and consider wine-food pairings.
This story first appeared in the InterTown Record of Sutton, N.H., on June 6, 2017.