Fannon’s liquor store, which reopened Thursday at its new 319 North Main St. location, couldn’t have timed things better than by doing so on the cusp of St. Patrick’s Day.
Shortly after I arrived, so did one of Fannon’s owners, Scott Arndt, bearing a fistful of shamrock-colored foil balloons. Fannon’s expected to have its soft opening on Friday, but what the heck, they got their license Thursday so opened right away, he said.
The business, under the name Austin’s Liquors, had been located at 212 North Main St. near Stop & Shop, but its lease ran out in January (the scuttlebutt is that housing could be built on that lot). Fannon’s owners initially attempted to relocate into the Bernie & Phyl’s space at 45 Worcester St. (Rte. 9 west), but the Select Board didn’t approve that.
So Fannon’s instead slotted in next to a couple of restaurants, Joy Luck and Mingaliens Trattoria, which could prove to be a beneficial adjacency. Nearby Dairy Queen will be back in season soon, too. Fannon’s space previously was occupied by a convenience store.
As I staked out the joint from my car in the parking lot, a handful of people ventured in. One gent got right down to business and departed with a pack of frosty Budweisers. A woman who chatted me up in the parking lot expressed happiness that Fannon’s moved here instead of onto Rte. 9 West, which she said wouldn’t have worked for her routine.
There’s nothing particularly new about Fannon’s at the new 1,200 sq. ft. location, Arndt said, other than that it is in less space. That means shelves are stocked higher than at the old store (being a tall guy, I could reach the top shelf, which is over 6-feet high). “We have as many SKUs,” Arndt said.
Fannon’s sells a wide variety of beer, wine and spirits, with brown spirits like bourbon particularly popular these days, Arndt said. The current cocktail culture has encouraged people to try lots of different products, he said.
Expect Fannon’s to stick around this location for a while. It has a 5-year lease.
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