MADISON, Wis. - A Williamson Street staple is open again in a neighborhood that prides itself on supporting local businesses after abruptly closing in April. When the lights went dark at Star Liquor, the neighborhood took note. "For me, it was terrible ...
MADISON, Wis. - A Williamson Street staple is open again in a neighborhood that prides itself on supporting local businesses after abruptly closing in April.
When the lights went dark at Star Liquor, the neighborhood took note.
"For me, it was terrible,” said longtime employee Adam Casey. “Star has always been a part of this neighborhood.”
“It was sad to see them go,” regular customer Jesse Kruschke said. "To walk past and see the sign out, it was like, 'Oh good, I can go back!' It's nice to have a place like this because a lot of us are pedestrians in this neighborhood, but we're pedestrians with good taste in wine.”
As of this week, self-proclaimed “wine guy” Casey has worked at Star Liquor for 18 years, minus the months it was closed.
"For me, it was a real change because I've spent so many hours of my life in this room, but it also felt like coming home,” he said. “It felt like, this is where I belong."
Customers are drinking in the moment, too.
"It feels a little bit like coming home, but a new, remodeled home,” Kruschke said.
"The smiles and hugs and general relief that we're open again have been really palpable and really wonderful,” Casey said.
The business closed in April because the former owner was facing health concerns. Four men, including former employee Josh Swentzel and two owners of the Ideal Bar, are taking a shot at reopening the business.
"We develop genuine relationships with our customers,” Casey said. “They are our friends. I do now hold the world record for the most non-awkward hugs in a liquor store."
It's that personal touch that workers say will keep the lights on.
Star Liquor officially reopened Wednesday.
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