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Pandemic Alternately Drives And Disrupts Wine And Spirits

Brian Bull

Liquor and wine stores have seen a slight uptick in sales since the more socially-restrictive pandemic measures were enacted, including limits on public gatherings. KLCC’s Brian Bull checked in on a couple local establishments.

Otto Deurloo-Willard-Woods of Cork and Bottle Shoppe Liquor says currently, their sales are about average.

“But last week was pretty busy, we were seeing numbers that were close to what we see around Christmas and New Years," says Deurloo-Willard-Woods.  "So quite a bit above average for March. But after they put the stay-at-home order out, we’ve dropped off significantly.”

Specialty liquors and cocktail ingredients are selling well, as many people can’t hit bars for a while.

Credit Photo provided to KLCC by Angus James.
Angus James, of Broadway Wine Merchants.

Meanwhile, Angus James of Broadway Wine Merchants is juggling solo, as his eight-person staff is off during the pandemic.

“We have a really loyal clientele that loves the people who work here and are really trying to support us by purchasing their wine from us," says James. 

"We do curbside pickup, we do delivery, they’re trying to help me sell enough wine to get on the other side of this, and hire all those people back.”

The U.S. Small Business Administration has economic injury disaster loans for affected businesses.Applications are online.

Copyright 2020, KLCC.

Brian Bull is an assistant professor of journalism at the University of Oregon, and remains a contributor to the KLCC news department. He began working with KLCC in June 2016.   In his 27+ years as a public media journalist, he's worked at NPR, Twin Cities Public Television, South Dakota Public Broadcasting, Wisconsin Public Radio, and ideastream in Cleveland. His reporting has netted dozens of accolades, including four national Edward R. Murrow Awards (22 regional),  the Ohio Associated Press' Best Reporter Award, Best Radio Reporter from  the Native American Journalists Association, and the PRNDI/NEFE Award for Excellence in Consumer Finance Reporting.
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