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Owner to add beer sales in building occupied by Arsenal Street Wine

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Under state law, beer and wine can’t be sold in the same store. But Mary R. Miles, owner of Arsenal Street Wine & Liquor Depot, found a solution to that problem.

Cases of cold beer will be sold by Bottle Caps Beverage Center, a convenience store being built in the basement of the building occupied by the wine store at 940 Arsenal St. An array of brews will be showcased in a large walk-in cooler at the business, a 2,400-square-foot retail space separated from Arsenal Street Wine that’s set to open at the end of May.

The new store’s outdoor entrance on the building’s west end will include a staircase and handicapped lift station leading into the retail space. Bottle Caps will have a separate parking lot, Mrs. Miles said, and will be staffed by four employees and a manager.

Although a wall in the basement area has an opening leading to the wine store, she said, it soon will be closed off to comply with state guidelines. Customers who wish to visit both stores will have to step outside and walk to the opposite entrance.

“This whole space was just sitting here in the basement, so I decided to make use of it as a retail space,” said the 43-year-old owner, who launched her wine and liquor store in March 2009. Bottle Caps will sell beer — including craft and microbrew varieties — and grocery items, such as snacks, juice and soda. It will include a collection of cigars, to be housed in a 48-square-foot walk-in humidor that will ensure they stay fresh and retain flavor.

The offerings at Bottle Caps will complement the other store, Mrs. Miles said, by giving customers a chance to find everything they want at both spots without driving elsewhere. She said the growth of wine sales at the depot, staffed by seven employees, set the stage for launching Bottle Caps this year. The store has a wall with more than 200 varieties of New York wines, she said, and is seeking to expand sales on its website. She said the success of her business has been driven largely by the north country’s burgeoning wine industry, as eight wineries are based in Jefferson, Lewis and St. Lawrence counties.

Bottle Caps Beverage Center will be open from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Saturday and from noon to 5 p.m. Sunday.

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