When Wrightway Market first applied for a packaged liquor license for the Freight House District, it immediately conjured up memories of the nightmarish experiences I've had in other local liquor stores nearby when it's 10:00 p.m. and I realize I need a pack of gum before heading out for the night. So I wrote about my concerns and how it might affect redevelopment. Others, such as St. Vincent's Dining Hall, gathered over 10,000 signatures to try to convince the city council to deny them a packaged liquor license.
When I heard the market opened a couple days ago, I decided to mosey down and take a peek. I was pleasantly surprised!
Missing are the assortment of cigarette and liquor signs plastered all over the windows and exterior of the building. Missing are the crack pipes and bongs and whippets and torch lighters that liquor stores around my neighborhood sell.
Although the yellow they chose for the exterior is not my favorite color for a brick building, they kept the outside minimal.
I set out on a mission to buy everything I needed to cook breakfast for myself and my half-hungover crew helping me restore my Craftsman-style bungalow.
Upon walking in the store, I was surprised yet again to find an expansive, clean, mini-mart with exposed rafters and beams on the ceiling which creates kind of an old fashion feel. The alcohol section is teeny tiny compared to other liquor stores. To my surprise, Wrightway really does sell many 'essentials' including eggs, milk, cheeses, breads, frozen food, more varieties of bottled juices than I've seen at Savemart, Spaghetti sauces, and sodas. They also sell cleaning supplies and basic auto parts supplies.
So yes, while they may sell booze, it's not the primary focal point of the store. Do I still think it's a good idea to have another store selling liquor so close to a homeless shelter and a redevelopment district? No, but the end result could have been much worse.