Senior hour at the liquor store? Now happening in Mecklenburg County.

Senior hour at the liquor store? Now happening in Mecklenburg County.
Generic ABC store image (Source: WECT)

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (Charlotte Observer) - Some Charlotte area liquor stores will be open an hour early for seniors to shop amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Jason Hughes, CEO of the Mecklenburg County ABC Commission, said starting April 7, 10 liquor stores will open 9 to 10 a.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays for people age 65 and older to shop “to help them maybe feel a little safer coming in.”

It’s a similar move most grocery stores have made to give seniors and the most vulnerable time to shop to stop the spread of COVID-19, the novel coronavirus.

The following stores will open one hour for seniors only:

▪ 4706 N. Tryon St.

▪ 7212 E. Independence Blvd.

▪ 4315 Sunset Road

▪ 3904 Colony Road, Suite E

▪ 9500 South Blvd.

▪ 3425 Pineville-Matthews Road

▪ 19701 Statesville Road, Cornelius

▪ 5715 Prosperity Church Road

▪ 9737 Callabridge Court

▪ 6318 Providence Farm Lane

Hughes also said the ABC stores are hiring. He said they bring in people to hire monthly. Apply online at meckabc.com/Careers/Career-Opportunities.

OTHER SAFETY MEASURES

Liquor stores are deemed essential and can remain open under both Mecklenburg County’s stay-at-home order that started March 26 and is valid through April 16 and North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper’s 30-day order that took effect March 30.

Last month, stores began closing two hours earlier than usual. Hours are 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.

In order to maintain 6 feet of social distancing as recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, ABC store workers will retrieve items and direct customers to the checkout to pay.

“Until further notice, customers will not be allowed to shop among the aisles in our stores,” the ABC board says online.

POSSIBLE ‘BUYBACK PROGRAM’

Hughes said the monthly April board meeting has been moved up to 1:30 p.m. April 14 “to help expedite discussing a buyback program to help some of these bar and restaurant owners return at least a portion of their liquor.”

Restaurant and bar sales were down 47.5% last month compared to a year ago after Cooper ordered them to close, other than takeout and delivery, on March 17.

Meanwhile, ABC stores saw a nearly 30% jump in sales compared to a year ago.

The county Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) Board manages the sale of distilled spirits at its retail stores, and also separately sells liquor to restaurants and bars.