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December 16, 2020

ABC prepares to take over space on Main Street

Photo/Don Del Rosso
The Virginia Alcoholic Beverage Control Authority has a seven-year lease to operate a store at 45 Main St. in Warrenton.
Given the high-end product selection that distinguishes it from standard ABC locations, this store will draw new and consistent customers from the region to Warrenton.
— Warrenton Mayor Carter Nevill
By .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)
Staff Journalist
The Warrenton landlord next month will take another big step toward bringing a Virginia Alcoholic Beverage Control store to Main Street.

In November, Jim Carson moved most of his land planning firm to the second story at 45 Main St. — clearing the way for an ABC store to occupy an approximately 2,200-square-foot portion of the ground-floor shop.

“We’ll probably turn it over to them in January,” Mr. Carson, president of Carson Land Consultants, said of the space. “And they’ll have their fit out and stocking to do. They do all the store-specific and counter and shelving. . . . They really run like a retail operation.”

Under contract with property owner 45 Main Street LLC, workers soon will complete “modest” improvements to the planned ABC space, including a wall that will separate the liquor store’s retail area from storage, office and other support uses.

The seven-year lease with the state authority starts when ABC occupies the shop, Mr. Carson said.

He believes that will take place “relatively soon.”

Discussions with ABC representatives about the space began last year, after the agency didn’t secure the storefront at 104 Main St., which today houses The Open Book.

“I’m excited to have them settle in here,” Mr. Carson said of the liquor authority. “They’ve been really easy to work with.”

But, it remains uncertain when the Main Street store might open, ABC Senior Public Relations Specialist Valerie Hubbard said in an email.

“The new store in Warrenton is one of about 15 store-related projects currently underway around the state,” Ms. Hubbard wrote. “Installation of fixtures (shelves, etcetera) will first need to be scheduled, and given the number of projects ongoing that might not be able to happen until February.”

Mr. Carson declined to say how much ABC will pay to rent the space.

“I’m not going to share that, because Main Street is an eclectic mix of tenancy,” he said.

Ms. Hubbard questioned whether rent payment details could be released at this point.

One of Old Town’s more vocal boosters, Mayor Carter Nevill looks forward to the ABC store’s arrival.

“That the Virginia ABC has selected Warrenton to open their newest signature store featuring top-shelf spirits is an economic win for the town,” Mr. Nevill wrote in a text. “Given the high-end product selection that distinguishes it from standard ABC locations, this store will draw new and consistent customers from the region to Warrenton.”

That will “directly” benefit existing businesses and attract new ones, the mayor said.

“At a time when many towns are facing difficult economic forecasts, Warrenton is fortunate to be seeing this kind of investment and confidence,” added Mr. Nevill, who co-owns Carter & Spence, a jewelry and gift shop two storefronts west of the proposed ABC store.

Warrenton-based commercial Realtor Bill Chipman agrees that an ABC store will give downtown merchants lift.

“Any time you bring another merchant in town, that will help bring people into Old Town, because they may shop at other places, besides going to the ABC store,” Mr. Chipman said.

It also may induce pass-through traffic to stop in Old Town to purchase liquor and at the same time shop Main Street, the CRES Inc. owner said.

And a Main Street ABC store would be “great from a convenience standpoint for people who live in Old Town to be able to walk up and grab something,” Mr. Chipman said.

The town has an ABC store in the Warrenton Village shopping center on West Lee Highway.

Warrenton’s first ABC store operated at 43 Culpeper St., until it moved to the shopping center several decades ago.

The alcohol authority also operates stores in Marshall and Bealeton.

Contact Don Del Rosso at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) or 540-270-0300.


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Myaccountinglab · January 9, 2021 at 7:06 am
I think they don't want to disclose how much ABC going to pay Main Street. But honestly, it is really a big business opportunity for ABC. I am bookkeeping and have a my lab accounting
R Stephens · December 28, 2020 at 1:41 pm
"Mr. Carson declined to say how much ABC will pay to rent the space. 'I’m not going to share that, because Main Street is an eclectic mix of tenancy,' he said."

Notwithstanding Mr. Carson's hesitancy in answering the question, this is public information. The lease term is seven years with monthly rent of $3,287.38 ($39,448.50 annually), paid in arrears on or before the 10th day of the month immediately following the month of occupancy.
Cammie Rodgers · December 17, 2020 at 8:19 pm
ella82, Speaking of addictions, have you ever noticed how many pharmacies there are these days. When I was a kid a town had one pharmacist. People addicted to prescription drugs is much higher than the number of alcoholics that may be patrons of the ABC store.

Let's close the pharmacies right?

Have you seen the price of alcohol, it's highway robbery. Pretty hard to maintain an alcoholic lifestyle at those prices.
youcantfixstupid · December 17, 2020 at 8:12 pm
Business must be booming for Virginia's ABC. It looks like the China flu has been good for alcohol abuse, suicide and depression. And with more lockdowns and reduced small business hours on the way, they need to focus and get that Warrenton top shelf ABC open ASAP. We need to stop the pain one way or another.
fpharris1 · December 17, 2020 at 4:51 pm
Oh, ella82, you're saying the presence of a store selling alcohol will encourage more people to become alcoholics? Or are you saying the ABC store is taking advantage of the "power of addiction" to make money? Have you ever been in an ABC store or the beer and wine section of a local grocery store or one of the small businesses here who sell beer and wine? Maybe we should shut down the grocery stores so alcoholics won't be able to go there to buy their fix. The vast majority of people who drink alcohol do so responsibly. If you shut down every location in the STATE that sold alcohol, an alcoholic would still find a way to buy what they want.
ella82 · December 17, 2020 at 9:58 am
Just goes to show the power of addiction and the need for the drugs that fuel it... In this case alcohol. Warranty needs another ABC store just like it needs another pothole and it's decrepit streets.
amelia john · December 17, 2020 at 2:20 am
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gustavowoltmann · December 17, 2020 at 1:37 am
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