Olney Beer and Fine Wine, a staple of the Olney business community for 26 years, is slated to close at the end of this month.
“Yes, it’s sad,” owner Scott Yates said. “This is where we live, and this is where we’ve raised our kids.”
Yates said while the reopening of Olney Safeway that now offers beer and wine has affected his sales, it wasn’t the sole reason for the decision.
“Has it hurt us? Absolutely,” he said. “But it’s not the main thing. There have been a lot of changes in Olney over the past 26 years.”
His lease in the Olney Village Center off Olney-Sandy Spring Road expires at the end of May, but he said he will not renew the Montgomery County license, which expires April 30.
Yates said he has a store, The Perfect Pour, in Columbia, and plans to open up another, Petite Cellars, in Marriottsville later this summer.
“Howard County is just a better place for us to do business,” he said. “We can sell beer, wine and liquor there.”
In Montgomery County, liquor can only be sold in county-owned stores.
Yates said they will sell off their inventory through the end of April and then move on.
“In a perfect world, we’d be here in Olney for another 26 years,” he said. “But for us, it’s better to leave while we can still call our own shots.”