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Barry’s Bay residents upset by unexpected closing of The Beer Store

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The Beer Store is closing in Barry’s Bay and many people aren’t happy about it. 

We spoke to several area residents who said they were surprised to hear about the closure of the only beer store for 60 km.

While Beer store employees told My Bancroft Now that they were unable to discuss the matter, a notice from the company posted at the store addressed the closure, saying the Beer Store regretted that the store was closing so suddenly.

The notice also stated that “nearly all” impacted employees would be offered jobs at other beer stores in the area.

The next closest Beer Store to Barry’s Bay is in Eganville, and after that 85 km away in Bancroft.

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One customer at the store said he had no idea it was closing,

“Well I’m not enthusiastic about it,” he told My Bancroft Now. “I’m just finding out now.”

He went on to say the stores closing followed a bigger trend.

“I’ve noticed this over the past 20 years: Shutting down small beer stores, shutting down small liquor stores and you know, turning them more into big box things like exactly what they did in Bancroft.” he said,

“And then they create these massive spaces that require a ton of investment and are expensive to heat because they’re huge. I think it’s better to stick with what you got…. now if they can’t renew the lease there, that’s a whole other issue”

According to the Valley Gazette, the company who holds the lease for the Beer Store is Olsheski Holdings Inc. OHI told the Gazette that after the Beer Store’s lease came up for renewal they proposed a small increase and no other changes to the lease agreement.

Olsheski told the Gazette they had no response from the tenant until April 9 when they received an email with an attached letter notifying them of intent to effectively end their lease agreement at the end of June.

According to the public notice, The Beer Store will close permanently on Sunday June 16.

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