Dinkytown liquor store expanding

Dinkytown Wine & Spirits will more than double its floor space.

Senior Kylie Pool rings up a customer on Tuesday at the Dinkytown Wine & Spirits.

Image by Joe Michaud-Scorza

Senior Kylie Pool rings up a customer on Tuesday at the Dinkytown Wine & Spirits.

by Andrew Johnson

More space will mean more variety and less time waiting for shoppers at Dinkytown Wine & Spirits as the store begins its expansion.
The liquor store began an expansion project in its current building last month, taking over the space left after Subway moved a block over to fill the Hollywood Video void.
âÄúWeâÄôre still sitting with an architect to figure out how to get the most out of what weâÄôre going to do,âÄù said Dinkytown Wine & Spirits Owner Irv Hershkovitz.
Hershkovitz opened Dinkytown Wine & Spirits in 1989 and noticed it was too small almost from the very beginning.
âÄúWe way under-built the store,âÄù Hershkovitz said. âÄúI listened to people who supposedly knew what they were talking about.âÄù
One benefit of expanding the store will be the addition of four checkout lines to reduce the wait for customers.
âÄúI think itâÄôs necessary,âÄù said finance junior Michael Sicora. âÄúThe lines can get really long, especially if you come in at the last minute.âÄù
On weekend nights, the line has been known to begin at the front registers and wrap around the back wall. Hershkovitz said the employees still work quickly and customers often socialize in line to pass the time, but he would still like to cut down on the wait.
Storage space has also proved to be challenging over the years as the store has required several deliveries a week. Hershkovitz said he hopes that with extra warehouse space they will need only one large delivery a week as opposed to three or four smaller ones.
Hershkovitz is also looking forward to some other additions that will come with the new space as well, such as a beer cave. He anticipates adding a
bigger variety of products to what is already a diverse assortment.
âÄúThe more selection, the better,âÄù Sicora said.
All in all, the floor space will be about two and a half times bigger than it currently is.
Hershkovitz hopes to have the newly expanded Dinkytown Wine & Spirits opened by the fall of 2011. He is still exploring some potential designs.
âÄúWeâÄôre looking at different options,âÄù he said.
Jim Surdyk, owner of SurdykâÄôs Liquor in Northeast Minneapolis, doesnâÄôt anticipate Dinkytown Wine & SpiritsâÄô expansion affecting his clientele. In fact, he was unaware of the plan.
âÄúI donâÄôt have a lot of the same crowd he does,âÄù Surdyk said.
Due to SubwayâÄôs relocation, the recently opened space is available for the process to get underway.
Because Hershkovitz owns the property Hollywood Video vacated when it closed, SubwayâÄôs move was a pretty easy transition, he said.
Subway closed its old location Sunday, Jan. 16 and reopened in its new spot the following Thursday.
The move has benefited Subway, as the restaurant has expanded its operations as well.
The new setup allowed Owner Edward Connolly to implement Subway Express, an ordering system allowing customers to pick up food after placing an order online.
âÄúWith the Subway Express, you have to have the right delivery areaâÄù because space was an issue in the old one, Connolly said. âÄúInstead of one line, we now have two.âÄù
The new location also features more storage space, comfortable seating and a fireplace. An additional oven for baking bread for sporting events, such as football games at TCF Bank Stadium, is another resource that Connolly is glad to have.
âÄúThe second oven makes it a lot easier on the staff,âÄù he said. âÄúBefore, baking enough bread for the in-store business and then the special events made it difficult.âÄù
Subway now occupies about half of the available 5,000 square feet in that building. Hershkovitz, a familiar face to the Dinkytown community, is still looking for potential suitors for the remaining half.
He has been in the area for 35 years and owns, or has owned, several other buildings in the neighborhood.
In addition to the Dinkytown Wine & Spirits and the former Hollywood Video properties, he owns the building housing Five Guys and the Verizon Wireless retail store. He also owned the Library Bar & Grill at one point.
After more than 20 years in the area, Dinkytown Wine & Spirits will look to have a bigger presence in the community.
Even now, Hershkovitz is often recognized by alumni and former employees.
âÄúWeâÄôve been here a long time,âÄù Hershkovitz said. âÄúIt drives my wife nuts, because I run into alumni everywhere we go.âÄù