Bar owner reacts to statewide liquor shortage

Bar owner reacts to statewide liquor shortage

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. – There’s a liquor shortage across the state and nation that’s affecting restaurants and bars.

Colbert Seagraves has owned Gatsby’s Pub in Winston-Salem for 36 years, and he says his favorite part about owning the bar is getting to know his customers.

What You Need To Know

  • There’s a statewide liquor shortage
  • Gatsby’s Pub owner Colbert Seagraves says the supply is improving
  • The ABC Commission says the shortage has been caused by a variety of issues

“They are what makes our bar what it is,” Seagraves emphasized.

Seagraves says he stays in business because of his customers, but he explains he also needs to be able to provide them alcohol and liquor. He says Gatsby’s Pub was closed for 14 months due to the pandemic and now there’s a liquor shortage.

Each week he drives to pick up his liquor order and says he holds his breath not knowing what will actually come in. However, Seagraves emphasizes the supply has gotten a lot better in the last week or so.

“We’ve been getting between 50% and 75% of the alcohol we order, so this is the first week we’ve gotten pretty much everything we ordered,” Seagraves said.

Seagraves says he’s heard the liquor shortage has been caused by a variety of issues, including distilleries and bottle makers.

The North Carolina ABC Commission says the congestion at ports, limited availability of glass, corks, labels and drivers to move their products to North Carolina have all contributed to the liquor shortage.

The commission also says the shortages can vary by location because the ABC boards operate independently of one another.
Additionally, ABC boards across the state are seeing record sales at ABC stores so they say it’s been very difficult to keep up with the demand.

Seagraves says it’s more than just liquor that’s the problem. He says this includes toilet paper, limes and more. While it seems like one thing after the other, he emphasizes that things seem to be getting better and he’s happy about that.

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