April 28, 2014 By Christian Murray
A new store offering as many as 400 domestic and foreign beers is opening on 51st Avenue.
The store, to be called The Beer Closet, is expected to open in June and will be selling bottles and cans from across the globe. It will sell four craft beers by the growler, a number that will grow over time.
The store owner is Mario Cruz, who has worked at Vernon Wine & Liquor for the past 2 years. Cruz, a 32-year-old former marine, got the idea for the store after many customers would walk into the liquor store also requesting beer. The Beer Closet, to be located at 5-35 51st Avenue, will not be selling wine or liquor.
The store is located next to LIC Living and near 51st Bakery Café, which is currently seeking a wine and beer license (which includes a rear yard).
Cruz said that in the first year the focus will be on developing the retail operation. However, by the summer of 2015 he would like to have a bar/tasting area at the back of the store with the possibility of opening his rear yard. Cruz, however, said he would do his research on whether opening the back yard is a viable option.
Cruz said he will probably roll out some food options over time. He said he might offer cheese, chocolates, vegetables and other finger foods to begin with.
However, he said, his focus right now is on beer. “I’m working on getting it from all over the world—Turkey, Africa, Korea, and Taiwan right now,” he said.