During COVID-19 outbreak, area liquor stores remain up and running

Liquor stores are still open for business under Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan’s order for nonessential businesses to close their doors.

Liquor stores are also continuing to operate in Virginia and in D.C., although some have reduced hours or other limitations.

The public health emergency has sparked unprecedented changes at Paul’s Wines and Spirits — a 70 year fixture in D.C.’s Friendship Heights neighborhood.

“I don’t think anybody’s seen anything like this,” said Rick Bellman, co-owner of Paul’s Wines and Spirits.

The store has reduced its hours of operation and is selling its wine, beer and booze in three different ways.

“We’re strictly doing curbside service, local delivery … and now we’ve introduced the walk-up service,” said Bellman.

“People can call, place their order, pull into our parking lot or in front of the store, pop the trunk and we put everything right in the trunk,” said Bellman.

No customers are allowed inside. Two, small tables block the doorway, through which the clerk and the buyer conduct their transactions while keeping the suggested 6-foot distance from customers.

Deliveries are available, but only to homes in the immediate vicinity.

Bellman said that his supply chain seems strong and workers inside the store are taking precautions.

“Everybody wears gloves in the store. We have Clorox wipes that we keep around, cleaning counter tops, cleaning all the bottles in the store periodically and trying to keep it as clean as possible.”

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