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Bethel’s First Liquor Store In Over 40 Years Opening Next Week

Bethel AC Quickstop.
Dean Swope

Bethel’s first liquor store in over 40 years is set to open next week. AC Quickstop received the town’s first liquor license last fall after decades of restricted alcohol sales, and Walter Pickett, AC general manager, says the store could open as early as Monday.

A few details still have to be worked out: wiring security cameras, hooking up a phone, and installing a bulletproof front door. Pickett says they’re also waiting for the beer to arrive. The wine and spirits, he says, are already in stock.

Bethel Police Chief Andre Achee toured the facility Thursday. Achee says he expects emergency call volume to increase with the liquor store opening and doesn’t know if he’ll have the staff keep up. The police department is budgeted for 15 officers. Currently, it has six. Achee has presented plans to increase staffing to Bethel City Council, which haven’t received approval.

The store created 12 new positions—10 store clerks and two security guards. All the employees, Pickett says, have received their state certification to sell alcohol.

The store will be open daily from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Persons must be 21 or older to enter.

The liquor store is part of a larger, more than million-dollar renovation of the AC Quickstop that will continue through the summer.

Bethel Spirits, a subsidiary of Bethel Native Corporation, holds the town’s one other liquor store license but has yet to open.