Bootlegger's Liquors catches on

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Woodbury's first liquor store got off to a rousing start Friday morning with owner Thomas Mears hustling to take care of his customers.

"They were lined up at the door when we opened at 9 o'clock," said Mears.

There was a little good-natured jostling in the line when Bootlegger's Liquor opened for its first day of business.

"Our first customer bought a bottle of Short Mountain Moonshine," he said.

Located on McCrary Street (Highway 53), the store was busy all week getting ready for the opening.

"We were here until 3 a.m. Friday getting everything in place," Mears said.

Stocking the store came at a fast pace with truck after truck of wholesalers moving in their colorful bottles. That was a contrast to actually getting Woodbury's first liquor license.

"That was a very slow process," Mears said with the city feeling its way into establishing the various codes necessary to operate a liquor store. "We had to jump through a lot of hoops."

"We're glad to be open," he grinned.

Helping Mears run the store is his wife Ellen, who was busy learning the secrets of the store's new cash registers while greeting customers.

Employees were still entering price information into the computerized cash registers late Friday morning and placing prices on each item for sale in the store.

"We're asking customers to be patient and all of them are cooperating with a smile," he said.

Many of the customers have questions about the store.

They ask why beer is not for sale. Similar questions are asked about cigarettes, soft drinks and etcetera.

One customer, who used to live in Michigan, pointed out liquor was available even at drug stores like CVC.

In Tennessee, state law requires liquor stores to sell only alcohol. Mixers aren't even available unless they are packaged with a bottle of liquor. In other states, liquor is only available at state-run ABC stores.



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