Beach Liquors has a new location in Fenwick Island, with a minor shift in ownership for the store, which is located in the Bay Plaza Shopping Center. Jerry Kappes, who owns Beach Liquors in Bethany Beach, explained that he and his wife, Jacque, and sons Michael and Scott, made the decision to buy the Bethany store on the Sunday of the Fourth of July weekend in 1999 and were open that Friday.
“It was about as crazy as you can get,” said Kappes. “We all had other jobs, and we had to hustle to pull it off but we did.”
Over the years, they expanded that store — located right off of Route 1 — built a new addition for their wine room and remodeled the outside to turn it into the store it is today. Kappes said they did all that without any experience in retail or the industry.
“We all enjoyed that very much and started thinking about another store,” he explained, adding that they have “one of the finest wine selections around.”
Eventually they brought on manager Chris Miller, whom Kappes described as “one of the best wine experts in the area.”
Miller said he started in 2000 part-time and worked on and off until 2006, when he went full-time at the store. He came to the company with 14 years of bartending experience, several years locally at the Cottage Café, and also in Bethesda, Md., and Fort Lauderdale, Fla.
When the opportunity to purchase the Fenwick Island location came up, Kappes said Miller joined the partnership of Kappes, Jacque and his son Michael in the Fenwick Island location. They have transformed the location, which was previously a liquor store, into a brand new store with a “clean, simple design.”
“We gutted it,” said Kappes. “It’s all new shelving. It’s all refurbished. Everything is new: the wine shelves, the light fixtures, everything.”
Kappes said they have a wide selection of wines, from value wines on up to the finer wines and liquors, at the new location. They quietly opened on President’s Day weekend this year — quite the change from their rushed Fourth of July opening in Bethany Beach some 15 summers ago.
“We have been open for several weeks. We had our grand opening last Friday, and we have been getting our feet on the ground,” he said.
“It’s been going well,” added Miller. “Obviously, February and March are a tough time for any business around here, but each week we are encouraged that people are finding us. We are feeling good about the season. I know I am.”
Beach Liquors Fenwick is located in the Bay Plaza Shopping Center at 1300 Coastal Highway in Fenwick Island. For more information, call (302) 541-4200.