Elmvale Beer Store closes and locals say ‘it sucks’

The Queen Street West outlet will close on April 11, leaving residents to travel longer distances to pick up their moss

Kevin Steele has just two words to say as the Elmvale Beer Store is closing.

“It sucks,” Steele said, after buying a few tallboys.

Steele believes he has been buying beer from the local retail store for 35 years.

“Now I will have to buy my beer in Midland or Barrie. It sucks,” he said.

Neither the customers nor the seller know why the store has to close on April 11.

“It sucks,” said store clerk Angela Giffen. “I mean, we (employees) are all going to Barrie, which is good. Fortunately, we are all still employed.

“But it’s still sad for the community,” she added. “It’s a busy place and we don’t really know why they’re closing.”

Giffen said staff were notified three weeks ago of the closure of the retail outlet, which she believes has been around for about 60 years.

“The market has changed across the province,” Jim Warren of Beer Store headquarters said in an email. “As a retailer, the Beer Store sometimes has to make difficult decisions, based on market research and changes in consumer buying behavior.”

In a press release, the head office acknowledged the impact of the closure: “We appreciate that this location closure will impact some customers.”

The statement also advised customers to shop at stores in Wasaga Beach or Barrie.

“I think it’s disappointing and a blow to the community,” said customer Jim Lapcevich, who was buying two 12-packs.

“It brings tourists into town – they stop along the way. And that’s a major inconvenience for those who don’t commute out of town every day to work, like me,” he said. “It’s our beer shop.”

Cheryl Browne, Local Journalism Initiative, Barrie Advance