By Peter Galuszka

Virginians are stocking up on spirits, fearing that the ABC store system might shut down because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Last week saw sales of $30.1 million up from $4.5 million the previous week. While big, the volume has not surpassed the holiday seasons last year.

For days, there have been rumors that ABC stores would shut down.

Not so, says the ABC system. They are changing store hours to open at noon and close at 7 p.m., seven days a week

So far, one store in downtown Richmond has been temporarily shut down because an employee tested positive for the virus.

Governor Ralph Northam, hoping to ease the financial pain of restaurants now closed to dining inside, has urged them to ramp up their takeout and delivery sales by letting them include wine and beer.

There had been talk that cocktails might be included, but the ABC says no.

A local ABC store employee told me that there are big runs on large bottles and there are some shortages but generally, the delivery system seems to be working. ABC also offers online sales.

Among the best- selling brands are Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Whiskey and Tito’s vodka.

Bottoms up!

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13 responses to “Virginians Hit the Sauce”

  1. Steve Haner Avatar
    Steve Haner

    The booze doesn’t make them essential businesses. The state and local revenue they produce does. I’ve also heard it mentioned that a shut down would lead to a run on hospitals by people with the DTs…

    But since we’re looking for silver linings, wouldn’t lower alcohol consumption (and zero cigarette sales) be good outcomes? Cancer sticks are now Corona sticks – that’s the ticket to ICU now. Asthma, COPD, lung cancer, hypertension.

    1. Nancy_Naive Avatar

      Essential? No. Life sustaining.

  2. johnrandolphofroanoke Avatar

    Imagine if the soon to be Virginia XYZ Pot Store was open!

    1. djrippert Avatar

      It’s a long drive to Colorado but if you start now you could probably be back by Monday. Remember to call ahead for curb side pickup!

  3. Let’s get to the chase, does drinking alcohol kill the virus?
    Otherwise I am abstaining to hopefully maximize resistance and internal organ strength in case.

    1. Nancy_Naive Avatar

      Chloroquine — synthetic quinine — so yes, gin and tonic.

      1. Steve Haner Avatar
        Steve Haner

        Yep. Had a couple of those already. Kroger had limes, too!

      2. Ben Slone Avatar
        Ben Slone

        And only the best Tonic Water using the root from the tree – not to mention the proper mixer.

      3. OK I accept the above sentiment…

  4. I read somewhere that pot consumption is way up, too.

    Hey, a lot of people have a lot of time on their hands, and they’ve watched everything on HBO and Netflix. What else is there to do?

    ….er…uh…. can we anticipate a surge in births nine months from now?

    1. Steve Haner Avatar
      Steve Haner

      Yep. And sadly domestic violence issues….

  5. Top-GUN Avatar

    This stuff isn’t cheap… You’d think people would be tightening up on unnecessary expenses…
    But NOOOOO… Eat drink and be merry and beg the government for handouts when you run out of money….
    Discipline and personal responsibility… forget it… people who work and save get to bailout these losers..

  6. johnrandolphofroanoke Avatar

    Part of FDR’s relief, recovery, and reform was the repeal of Prohibition. Very popular man indeed! Perhaps Virginia could help the small business owner by transferring alcohol sales from ABC to private hands?

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