GODFREY - Godfrey trustees approved a liquor license for a proposed Top Shelf liquor store, moving the proposed business one step closer to construction. While more details on the exact location or construction timeline were not available yet, Top Shelf’s owners are hoping to have it open by next Memorial Day on May 27, 2024.
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Mayor Mike McCormick said he was in favor of Top Shelf, which has a location in Effingham, building a new location in Godfrey.
“After seeing the pictures, these people want to invest in our community,” Mayor McCormick said. “They just want to have the security of knowing that they can have a liquor license, and I don’t see the problem in that.”
Business Partners Don and Patrick Schutzbach said at the meeting they plan to build a 6,500 to 7,000 square foot facility which would include a high-end wine cellar, tasting area, and a closed-off section for video gaming which also allows customers 21 years of age and over to have single-serve drinks while playing.
Despite the board’s previous reluctance to approve new liquor and gaming licenses and businesses within the village, trustees unanimously approved Top Shelf’s liquor license request after asking a series of questions about the nature of the business.
One previously raised concern amongst board members was the ratio of food and/or beverage sales to video gaming revenue in businesses that offer both - their general consensus, which is part of a potential ordinance being reviewed by the village attorney, is that video gaming should not account for more than 50% of a business’s overall revenue.
After Woodman asked what percentage of Top Shelf’s Effingham location’s sales were video gaming, the owners replied they accounted for about 5% of their overall revenue. They also said they expect their future Godfrey location to generate about $2 million in revenue.
Starting out, the new liquor store would provide six new jobs for the Godfrey area - three full-time and three part-time positions - with a General Manager and other positions added on after the store becomes more established. The owners confirmed at the meeting they would be hiring locally.
The Schutzbaches wrote in a letter to Mayor McCormick that their brand identity is an “upscale beer, wine, and spirit retail space,” which they see as contributing to the village’s “goals for the future.”
“We chose to name our limited liability company ‘Top Shelf’ for a reason: to offer the greatest selection in the area, and to go above and beyond the expected to gain the trust of our clientele as their go-to liquor store,” they wrote.
A full recording of the Sept. 5 meeting is available at the top of this story or on Riverbender.com/video.
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