Gateway Center ABC store may not be open in time for Christmas business

Published 12:00 am Thursday, December 3, 2009

By Jessie Burchette

Salisbury Post

Time is running out on opening a liquor store at the new Gateway Center in Kannapolis before Christmas.

Officials of the Rowan/Kannapolis Alcoholic Beverage Control Board reviewed the latest projected completion date for the store, now Dec. 18.

The store will be the third in Kannapolis and the seventh overall for the system.

Officials had hoped to open the store earlier to take advantage of the full holiday season.

Board member Ken Argo of Kannapolis expressed doubt about whether the building could be completed by Christmas. “It’s a shell … there’s no glass in,” said Argo, who had recently checked on the site.

ABC is renting one of several stores in the Gateway Center at the intersection of N.C. 73 and Kannapolis Parkway.

General Manager Terry Osborne said ABC will be ready to open the store as soon as the building is completed. That’s also when the rent starts.

The system has already acquired much of the liquor needed for the new store.

Osborne said legal paperwork will be concluded this week on a $400,000 loan from First Charter, which will pay off nearly $200,000 in existing loans and provide needed cash to open the Gateway store and the fourth Kannapolis store at the Renaissance Center next year.

Osborne said ABC officials have worked out a deal to have security at the Kannapolis stores.

In other matters, the board:

* Heard that sales were up nearly $20,000 in October, compared to October 2005.

Sales at the Spencer store continued to decline, dropping nearly $5,000 from October 2005.

* Learned from Osborne that the system will now fill emergency liquor-by-the-drink orders at the Jake Alexander Boulevard store on Friday evenings and on Saturday during regular hours.

In the past, some restaurants or bars that have run out of liquor on the weekend have contacted ABC officials or have illegally bought bottles from the stores — bottles that don’t have the required taxes or stamps.

* Set the next meeting for Dec. 18 at 5:15 p.m. at the ABC office at 510 N. Lee St.