By FRANK LEWIS
PDT Staff Writer
State workers were busy Tuesday morning stocking the shelves of the newly added liquor store at the Kroger on Gay Street in Portsmouth. Kroger recently purchased a liquor license previously owned by The Party Connection, and began stocking their shelves. No additional licenses were obtained.
The liquor store opens at 9 a.m. today, and according to Jackie Siekmann, media and government relations manager for Kroger, the new liquor store will sell all types and sizes of liquor.
“We are very excited to add a liquor store to our Kroger in Portsmouth,” Siekmann said. “The store offers customers marketplace clearance items, groceries, and now liquor. It truly is one-stop shopping. We are all about offering our customers convenience, and this is just one more way to do that.”
Kroger already stocks beer and wine products, and announced in September they would be expanding their inventory with liquor.
“The Party Connection has certain permits and Kroger has certain permits, but we generally don’t let one liquor store have them within a three-mile radius of another, so this is that one,” Lyn Tolan of the Liquor Control Division said at the time. “There wouldn’t be two within three miles of each other.”
At the same time, The Party Connection owner Bob Ruttman said he was pleased with the transfer.
“We are very enthusiastic about the opportunities that this transfer could give us at The party Connection,” Ruttman said. “While we are proud to serve as the area’s only Ohio State Liquor Agency, we have made the decision to allow The Kroger Company that honor while we focus on expanding our other offerings.”