Bethel has another liquor store. At 11 a.m. Tuesday, Bethel Native Corporation opened Bethel Spirits on Front Street. It’s the second liquor store to open in Bethel this year after an almost half century ban on legal alcohol sales. KYUK’s Anna Rose MacArthur arrived as the doors opened.
KYUK: So you’re the first paying customer?
Maczynski: I’m the first customer, yeah.
Cezary Maczynski is a long-time Bethel resident. He immigrated to the U.S. from Poland and his shop, Cezary’s Auto Body and Paint, sits across the street.
Maczynski: I just buy Corona, six-pack Corona for tonight.
KYUK: Were you planning on being the first customer?
Maczynski: No, I just pull out by my shop because we be neighbors now.
KYUK: What do you think about your shop being neighbors to a liquor store?
Maczynski: I don’t worry about it. I’ve never been harassed by drunks. People respect you if you respect them.
Maczynski says he’s glad AC Quickstop, Bethel’s other liquor store, has competition now and that this store is owned locally, not in Canada.
Maczynski: I would like to see the money stay here and not go over the border.
Right now, there’re eight varieties of beer and five varieties of Franzia box wine on the shelves. An 18-pack of canned beer starts at $34.85. A box of wine starts at $37.95. The store is currently only accepting cash, but should be taking debit and credit cards by the end of the week. The store is open Tuesday through Saturday, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.