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Star Liquor on Madison's Williamson Street closes
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Star Liquor on Madison's Williamson Street closes

Star Liquor

Star Liquor, 1209 Williamson St., had a sign displayed on its door Wednesday saying the shop is no longer in business.

Star Liquor, a longtime fixture of Madison’s Williamson Street business community, has closed.

A sign posted on the door of the business at 1209 Williamson St. on Wednesday said: “Star Liquor is no longer in business.” The store’s website and Facebook page could no longer be accessed.

Situated in the heart of the Willy Street shopping corridor on the city’s Near East Side, Star Liquor offered a variety of craft brews, wines and liquor in its small store space for decades.

The business has also served as a ticket counter for residents looking to attend community events, such as concerts at the Barrymore Theatre and the Great Taste of the Midwest beer festival.

Star Liquor opened in 1972. It’s closure follows the expansion of liquor-purchasing options in the area. A full-service liquor store inside Festival Foods on East Washington Avenue opened in 2016. The flagship Willy Street Co-op location, on the same block as Star Liquor, began selling beer, wine and hard cider late last year.

Barriques, which opened nearby on Atwood Avenue in 2015, sells a variety of bottled wine.

Closing sign

A sign on Star Liquor's door Wednesday announcing the business has shuttered.

In December, Star Liquor general manager Adam Casey told The Capital Times that he hoped the Willy Street Co-op’s alcoholic offerings wouldn’t compete with his own, but said he was worried it might “drive us out of the neighborhood.”

Attempts to reach Casey on Wednesday were unsuccessful.

Willy Street Co-op pursued alcohol sales to help with “stagnant if not slightly declining” food sales, according to a business plan filed with the city when the grocery store applied for its liquor license.

Cork ‘n Bottle partner Bob Hamauer, another small liquor store located on the Near East Side at 855 E. Johnson St., said at a City Council meeting in February that his shop has also had a tough time competing with big box outlets.

Another Williamson Street shop offering home brewing and gardening supplies, Brew and Grow, shut down last month.


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