| By Helmut Schmidt |
This article originally appeared on InForum. The featured image is by David Samson from The Forum.
The Bottle Barn Off Broadway is now selling off-sale liquor downtown.
Fargo’s latest liquor outlet opened Wednesday, Feb. 22, on the first floor of the Kesler Building at 618 2nd Ave. N.
Owner Joel Wold said the store had only been open a few hours, but a couple of dozen people had come in despite an approaching winter storm.
He said he’s picked up compliments from people glad they have a more convenient place to shop.
“It’s going pretty good,” Wold said. “I mean it’s slow, because it’s 10 below zero and windy and winter, but, it’s going OK.”
Wold wanted to be open with the start of the New Year, but supply chain and workforce issues piled on delays. In fact, it will be another two or three weeks before the store’s sign arrives and can be installed.
“Things just take longer than anticipated. We’re happy to be here and be open,” he said.
The Kesler building, built by prolific downtown developer Kilbourne Group, opened in July 2022.
Kilbourne Group spokeswoman Adrienne Olson said Wednesday that there are still a few commercial spaces available to rent in the Kesler.
“Our team went over there this afternoon and made some initial purchases. We’re pretty excited to have that service right in the core of downtown. We’ve always had off-sale downtown, but this is a new offering I think,” Olson said.
“It’s really going to be a benefit to the businesses downtown, and residents, having within walking distance, a nice bottle shop,” Olson said. “They have a huge selection in there. I think they’re going to do OK downtown.”
Wold said he’s liked the activity around the Kesler in the lead-up to Wednesday’s opening.
“In the last couple weeks being down here, … all the foot traffic, all the people that we see going in and out of Young Blood Coffee and the workout place across the street, Pure Barre. There’s just so many people walking around, going from here to the ice rink on Broadway Square. Just all the foot traffic and it’s just so busy, so I think that’s reassuring seeing so many people around and it’s just so vibrant.”
Bottle Barn Off Broadway at 4,000-square-feet is less than half the size of Wold’s other two Bottle Barns, so it doesn’t have the space to stock the same number of products, but it still has a good selection of beer, wine and liquor, including high-end branded whiskeys and tequilas, Wold said.
The area doesn’t have a lot of on-street parking, but the store offers a curbside pickup option. Wold said customers can call in their orders, pull into Roberts Alley beside the shop, “and we’ll put it right into their car and they won’t have to get out.”
Hours are 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday through Saturday, and noon to 8 p.m. Sunday.
The two other metro-area Bottle Barns are at 2515 S. University Drive, and 3171 Bluestem Drive, just off Veterans Boulevard in West Fargo.
Wold’s target markets are the increasing number of condo and apartment dwellers downtown, as well as the roughly 20,000 people who work there daily.
During the process of obtaining the liquor license for the shop, Wold said he would take measures to discourage panhandling, public intoxication, and underage liquor purchases.
He’s glad the shop is finally open.
“We’re just going to try to get our feet wet and see how things go, and we’re looking forward to being downtown,” Wold said.