Oklahoma’s new alcohol laws go into effect in one week and stores around the Tulsa area are preparing for the changes.
With only a week to go, independent liquor stores, like The Wine & Spirits Barn at 15th and Lewis, are making changes they hope will continue to help them compete against big box retailers, like the Reasor’s just across the street.
Owasso Liquor and Wine owner Andy O’Neal says he’s excited for Monday. O’Neal co-owns the store with his twin brother and says he wants to have one of the largest cold beer selections in the state.
“This refrigeration unit that we’ve purchased with electric is somewhere probably close to $100,000,” he said.
Under the new laws, strong beer and wine can be sold in grocery and convenience stores and liquor stores can serve cold beer and items not related to alcohol.
O’Neal says the beer fridge is phase one. He says phase two includes building a 45-foot wine and cider fridge and his end goal is to compete with the larger companies.
“We have to have that inventory back up to compete against a Walmart or a grocery store chain,” said O’Neal.
Spencer Wood at The Wine & Spirits Barn says the store will also be getting fridges. He says he believes doing so will help them stay afloat among the big retailers.
“We’re going to try and focus on stuff, keeping stuff here that they don’t have,” he said.
Wood says what he believes sets the store apart is the focus they put on their customers who live in the area they serve.
“When people come through the door and they say, ‘Hey, you got a cold six-pack of this or that,’ we want to be able to provide that,” he explained.
O’Neal says the changes are “great for Owasso, great for Oklahoma. Should be great starting on Monday. We’re ready.”