CHARLOTTE, NC. — Down to the last bottle of Four Roses bourbon at Hattie’s Tap and Tavern on The Plaza. Other liquors she usually carries are slim pickings.
“I have product that I would never carry before because it’s just what they have and because I don’t wanna drive super far away to 1 billion different places to pick up the exact product that I want,” says owner Jackie Deloach.
Deloach says she used to be able to pick up alcohol at 25 ABC Store locations across Mecklenburg County. Now, she’s only permitted to pick up at less than half of the locations.
“I had been trying to transfer to different stores to be able to pick up product, and then when I would get to the stores they would say that they’re no longer doing orders for bars and restaurants.”
Deloach says she isn’t sure why this is happening. WCCB pressed the Mecklenburg County ABC Board for answers. A spokesperson says:
We have revised our Mixed Beverage (MXB) Operations (services to permitted bars, restaurants etc.) in an effort to minimize frustration and increase customer satisfaction. The Board Consolidated pick up locations for mixed beverage customers beginning in October 2021. This tactic was designed to reduce or minimize the need to visit multiple stores for one order as well as address out of stock issues. Mecklenburg County has 29 locations with one store dedicated to Mixed Beverage customers only. Prior to October 2021, 28 stores serviced both retail and mixed beverage customers ( 1 store was retail only). After October 2021, 18 locations service both retail and mixed beverage customers, while 11 stores are now retail only. Instead of stretching inventory to 28 MXB outlets, we reduced the number of MXB outlets and replenished more liquor in the remaining outlets as we have been able to work with some distillers to secure more product.
This means more product on retail shelves for customers like Jonathan Roberts. Wednesday night, he went to the ABC Store off Park Road.
“I saw shelves that were for the most part full,” says Roberts.