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Charlotte running short on liquor

CHARLOTTE (AP) — Restaurants and bars in North Carolina’s largest city are scrambling to find popular brands of alcohol that have been depleted by supply chain issues and worker shortages.

During a recent meeting of the N.C. Alcoholic Beverage Control Commission, chairman Zander Guy Jr. began by addressing the liquor shortage, which is being felt statewide, The Charlotte Observer reported.

“We all are experiencing the supply and demand shortage, and hopefully that will resolve itself in time,” Guy said.

The ABC commission is in contact with suppliers to ensure products are in stock and help local ABC boards find solutions to product issues, said commission spokesman Jeff Strickland.

“Broadly speaking, there have been strains on the global supply chains of a variety of products throughout the entire pandemic, and not just here in North Carolina,” Strickland said. “Many businesses have reopened over recent months, creating additional demand as well.”

Bars in North Carolina were allowed to reopen on Feb. 26 after being order closed nearly a year ago and late-night alcohol curfews also were lifted then. All COVID-19 restrictions, including capacity limits at restaurants and other retailers, were lifted in May.

Last year, ABC stores saw a nearly 30% jump in sales compared to 2019 as more people stocked up at home. But as more restaurants and bars have reopened, demand is up for spirits.

Across the border in South Carolina, there’s no such problem, the newspaper reported.

“We don’t have a shortage at the moment,” said Josh Martin, assistant manager at a liquor store in Lake Wylie, South Carolina.

Martin said his store is seeing an increase in sales in part because of the shortage on some liquor brands in North Carolina.

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