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From Sell to Serve

Morgan & York plans a bar and brewery

by Sabine Bickford

From the February, 2018 issue

"What is going on at M&Y?" asks a chalked message on a large wall in the backroom of Morgan & York. The answer: the longtime wine store and specialty grocer is trading its state license to sell bottled hard alcohol for a license to serve it.

The store will be undergoing renovations to better fit a bar, but the deli will be staying, along with the food, coffee, and retail wine and beer.

Owner Tommy York explains: "What happened over the last twenty years is the grocery stores realized that they should carry these perishable, really delicious products. So our grocery stores are super awesome now, which leaves us in a declining revenue situation."

York, whose former partner Matt Morgan hinted at moving toward serving alcohol when he left the business in 2016, is also planning on a few more changes. "We're gonna bring in a florist, [and] Ricewood's gonna move inside," he says of the barbecue food truck that's been on the property since 2015. He says a gelato truck will be taking Ricewood's place outside.

Even bigger plans are afoot. York is taking on three new partners, who are buying out Morgan's shares. They'll tear down an old storage building on the property and build a brewery. A currently unused lot to the side of the building will provide more parking for future customers.

Plans for the brewery won't be set in motion until next year, but York is aiming to get all of the interior changes done by April. He'll keep the cafe open throughout, because "the buying cycle for coffee is twenty-four hours--so if you shut down, you're basically sending all your regular customers to your competition. You want people to at least be able to come in and get a pastry and a coffee."

York says the name for this new venture is still under consideration. "I wanna call it Porchlight Community Center, but everyone says that's a stupid name." He tells us the working name is "York Commons ...which sounds like 'your commons' if you say it fast!"

Morgan & York, 1928 Packard. 662-0798. Mon.-Fri 7:30 a.m.-9 p.m., Sat. 8 a.m.-9 p.m., Sun. 9 a.m.-5 p.m.     (end of article)

[Originally published in February, 2018.]


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