Williamsburg council members joined Virginia’s Secretary of Public Safety Brian Moran and more than 50 people Friday at the Virginia Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control’s first premier store for the agency’s special 80th anniversary kickoff event. Other attendees included Virginia Deputy Secretary of Public Safety Victoria Cochran, vendors and suppliers, architects and ABC board members, directors, regional managers, staff and drop-in customers. After a short presentation and formal ribbon cutting, guests enjoyed a buffet and birthday cake while browsing the impressive store.
In his remarks, Secretary Moran offered congratulations to ABC in its 80th anniversary year. After telling the crowd that ABC has contributed more than $8.2 billion to the commonwealth in those eight decades, he added, “ABC benefits Virginians whether they choose to drink or not.”
The agency held its anniversary event in Williamsburg to highlight the new store concept. ABC board member Judy noted that the Williams Shopping Center store is the first Virginia ABC store to be redesigned with the premier look.
“This store incorporates retail space planning techniques and has been completely transformed with energy efficient lighting, a tasting area and new ceiling, cabinetry, wall treatments and product displays. In keeping with the historic nature of Colonial Williamsburg, the location also pays homage to the early days of distilled spirits by displaying a reproduction moonshine still. Our 5,800 square foot premier store invites customers to shop by exploring our shelves and the more than 1,400 items they hold,” Napier said.
Commissioner Jeff Painter explained that the Williamsburg store is an example of ABC’s new branding initiative. Two additional premier stores will open soon, this summer in Leesburg and in Virginia Beach this fall. The process of adding additional premier stores will be gradual and occur as leases expire and the market allows.
The Virginia General Assembly adopted the state’s plan for liquor control on March 7, 1934. Last week’s event occurred exactly 80 years after the ABC was created.
The Virginia Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) is a major source of revenue for the commonwealth, contributing more than $1.8 billion to the general fund in the last five years. The agency currently operates 350 state stores. Its Bureau of Law Enforcement oversees more than 16,000 ABC licensed establishments while the Hearings and Appeals Division considers more than 700 cases each year. The agency also provides alcohol education and prevention programs for people of all ages. Now celebrating its 80th anniversary, ABC remains committed to progress and innovation in carrying out its control, service and revenue mission.
ABC Unveiled New Store Design to Mark 80th Anniversary