A group of business partners is seeking to reopen Star Liquor after the longtime Williamson Street establishment shuttered its doors this spring.
John Conowall said he and three other partners — all of whom have extensive experience owning and managing East Side businesses — are hoping to purchase the building that houses Star Liquor, 1209 Williamson St. If the financing comes through, the Near East Side neighborhood liquor store could be serving customers again by Sept. 1, he said.
“We’re just really excited to hopefully bring it back to the neighborhood,” Conowall said.
Along with Conowall, Michael Randall, Troy Armbruster and Josh Swentzel are partnering in buying the property, which also includes one ground-level apartment behind the liquor store and three apartments on the second floor.
Randall co-owns the Alchemy Cafe and the Ideal Bar, both located on Atwood Avenue in the Schenk’s Corners area, while Armbruster is co-owner and manager at the Ideal.
Swentzel is a part-owner of the Ohio Tavern, and he also recently opened Degoba Cocktail and Tobacco Supply — a retail store with craft spirits and wine, cocktail-making tools, cigars and gifts. Both businesses are in the same building at the corner of Atwood and Ohio avenues.
After working more than 15 years at Union Cab, Conowall has taken on managerial responsibilities at the Ohio and Degoba.
Star Liquor, which opened in 1972, closed on April 3. A Facebook post by the business two days later cited the absence of owner Jerry Mogensen as a factor in the closing. He took over the store in 1982 but suffered a stroke three years ago.
“Star Liquor could not continue without its owner at the helm,” the Facebook post said.
Swentzel, who previously worked at Star Liquor for about five years, said he had been in conversation with Mogensen about taking over Star Liquor.
“Jerry wants the legacy of Star Liquor that he created to be able to continue,” Conowall said.