Years ago a member of the Frazee City Council said if the city municipal liquor store were to survive it needed to be relocated. The preferred location was out near U.S. Highway 10 or along Main Avenue.
Since connecting city sewer and water passed Town Lake is no longer part of the State Highway 87 project, maybe the council should again entertain Main Avenue.
The current bar and store is tucked away. It does not serve impulse buys. I’ve heard professionals in the industry say this is a problem. I’ve heard managers of stores that did relocate to a more central location talk about massive turnabouts from loss to profit. And, it makes sense that if a store is in plain sight it may entice a shopper to stop in for a bottle of wine for a meal or a six-pack for a game. Who hasn’t been that shopper?
Rewind to when the council initially brought the idea up about relocating the liquor store in Frazee. I believe the old furniture building was still up and the concept seemed less tangible. Now, with the furniture store gone, store plans drawn up for a commercial building and available space, why is this not being considered?
A beer cave could be created and a new store with a new buzz could pull people in with a prime location across the street from All In All, which brings us all downtown all the time. Yes, that does mean the bar side of the operation would end. Those who patronize the bar might instead venture to the Frazee VFW, which in turn would help a local business. If the VFW became bopping, then perhaps that would lure another privately-owned bar to town.
The employees of the city’s on-sale could stay and work at the off-sale. And if the VFW was busy enough, I’m sure they would be seeking more employees as well.
But, the question remains of what to do with the current bar and liquor store space. Rewinding time once again, I question what happened to the idea of turning the off-and-on-sale into a motel with private entrances? That would be a draw to those considering renting the facility for a wedding or event. During Turkey Days and all holidays it would also provide additional lodging for relatives and guests.
As for a desk clerk, I’m not sure that would be needed to start. The city could put the liquor store clerks in charge of checking people in if city hall were closed. A key drop box (or leaving the key in the room) could be utilized for check outs. And the police could occasionally patrol the area, as I’m sure they already do.
As for removing the liquor store impacting the event centers option of providing spirits at events—I’m interested to know how many locations provide that service in comparison to how many hire someone to offer that option.
Vergas has its Lions Club bartend, so maybe that is another opportunity for a local group. Or, when the city attorney said, it is possible to retain the license, maybe it would be good to look into that further.
I do applaud the city council for trying the food option. Had they went the route of a true pub there may have been more success, but that came with a great deal of expense. That would’ve made my knees shake too.
I also want to applaud Councilwoman Nicole Strand, who seems to have my dislike for repetitiveness without forward progress.