Home Money Ohio Liquor Agency to open liquor clearance store in Columbus

Ohio Liquor Agency to open liquor clearance store in Columbus

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Discount liquor store to open in Columbus. Photo by Paul Sableman, via Flickr.

Have you been looking for tangerine Bacardi? Captain Morgan Grapefruit? The state of Ohio has it.

The Ohio Liquor Agency opened a liquor clearance store in Columbus this Thursday.

The store, named “Last Call,” will sell the state’s collection of discontinued or out-of-circulation liquors. The store is open for two weekends this month, Oct. 18 to 21 and Oct. 25 to 28.

The store will be in an old Giant Eagle at 777 Neil Ave. in Columbus. The agency chose Columbus as their location because it had the best available space, Lindsey Leberth, brand manager of the Ohio Department of Commerce, said.

The store has a published inventory with selections ranging from Green Label Jack Daniels to a Hocking Hills blended drink, aptly named Hocking Hills. Discounts on the items range from zero to 40 percent, Leberth said.

Ohio is a “control” state, meaning that the Ohio Division of Liquor Control oversees all aspects of liquor production, merchandising, sale, and licensing. The state owns all liquor produced in or sent into the state and delivers it to private businesses that contract with the state, Leberth said. When a company discontinues a liquor or changes its labels, it gets sent back to the liquor agency; these lonesome liquors are what “Last Call” is selling.

All agency proceeds from all state liquor sales, including those at “Last Call”, go toward JobsOhio, a private non-profit corporation created by Gov. John Kasich to spur economic development in Ohio.

Leberth stressed that the “Last Call” store is not intended to promote overconsumption and that the state specifically planned the dates of the store to avoid this.

“We were very careful when we were choosing the dates of this, that we were choosing it on away Ohio State games, well actually I think this week is a by-week and then an away game,” Leberth said. “We don’t want to have it on a home game weekend because it is somewhat closer to the Ohio State campus, so it’s definitely something on our mind.”

The superintendent of liquor control, Jim Canepa, told The Columbus Dispatch that he had the idea for “Last Call” while shopping at Designer Shoe Warehouse. If “Last Call” goes well, the liquor agency might bring the store to Cleveland or Cincinnati, Canepa said.

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