New liquor store opens

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People in Hayden now have a choice when it comes to purchasing alcohol.

"We had vacant space that we weren't using, and people said, 'Why don't you put in a liquor store?'" said Herman Venzke, who opened the store with his wife, Nancy, on Jan. 27.

A-1 Liquor, at 106 E. Jefferson, is less than a block away from Mount Harris Liquors on Walnut Street.

With a prime location on U.S. Highway 40, the store's owners hope to attract commuters and other people traveling through Hayden. On Tuesday, they said they have averaged 67 customers a day. Half of those, they guessed, were people just passing through town.

"Traffic going to Craig is big," Venzke said.

With about 90 wines to choose from and a large assortment of beer and liquor, the owners plan to install a drive-up window this summer.

Lorraine Johnson's family has been running Mount Harris Liquors since 1982. They have their regular customers, and Johnson said she is not too concerned with the new competition.

"They're probably hurting the liquor stores in Craig more than me," she said.

-- To reach Matt Stensland, call 871-4204

or e-mail mstensland@steamboatpilot.com

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