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Save The Beer Store petition gathering steam 

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A petition to save The Beer Store in Barry’s Bay has so far garnered more than 700 signatures. 

Residents were recently shocked to discover that The Beer Store will close for good in June after more than 70 years in business. The petition, at, started May 2.

“We CANNOT let that happen,” organizers said. “We are the Gateway to Algonquin Park and on a provincial highway that travels from Ottawa to Huntsville. The closest Beer Store from here is 80 km away.”

Longtime Barry’s Bay residents Beth Hildebrant and husband John started the petition.

Hildebrant explained to Moose FM why The Beer Store is so important to the community:

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“Barry’s Bay is the hub of the Madawaska Valley” she said.

“We are right on the main highway from Ottawa to Huntsville, Hwy. 60. And we’re also very near Algonquin Park and people come here for beer all the time. There are businesses that rely on this beer store. I just can’t see it closing. I really and truly can’t.”

Beth Hildebrant said corner store beer sales could compensate for the loss of The Beer Store:

“At The Beer Store you can buy the cases, and I feel sorry for the businesses, the restaurants and the bars. They rely on The Beer Store here to keep going. It’s going to really hurt our local economy”

“What about all the empties?” she also pointed out, “where do they all go?”

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.

The petition is directed to The Alcohol and Gaming Commission and The Beer Store corporate office.

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