Bachelor Wines nowJoe’s Liquors
In the 40 years Joe Miller has been in Eagle County, he’s had a lot of job titles, but he’s not held the title of “owner” until now.He and domestic partner Helen Bird, along with University of North Dakota classmate Jack Leevers and his wife Sharon, purchased Avon’s Bachelor Wines and Spirits in February. They spent $30,000 to remodel it and have now renamed it Joe’s Liquors.”I needed to do something else,” said Miller, who over the course of his tenure here, and elsewhere, has done and seen plenty.When the opportunity to purchase the business came up the foursome jumped on it. Bird, who is an owner of Vail Tax and Accounting, had been keeping the books for the liquor store since it was opened in 1995 by Mike Collins. She knew it was a good business and convinced the Leevers to join her.It was a combination of talents and backgrounds that brings a lot of experience to the table. The Leevers have extensive retail experience in the grocery store business while Bird handles the books. Sharon Leever orchestrated the remodel which required closing the store for three days.
Miller, by dint of his four decades here and his familiarity with locals and visitors, handles the hands-on end of the business. They also have expert assistance from former owner Collins and from store manager Scott Seitz.”It’s (Miller’s) job to bring in the customers,” Bird said. “The Leevers are great partners because they have retail experience.”Over he years, Miller has rubbed elbows with an amazingly eclectic set of people. He hired John Garnsey, who’s now chief operating officer of Beaver Creek, to bus tables at Mid-Vail. He was a drummer in the one-hit wonder Freddy Cannon band which in the early ’60s recorded “Palisade Park.” One of his college classmates is Phil Jackson, the former coach of the Los Angeles Lakers and Chicago Bulls. And he also seems to know nearly everyone in the valley, too. He’s worked as a cook at some of the area’s most popular restaurants, many of which have now changed hands and names.
The foursome now are looking to capitalize on the assets the business has – its location and free parking – and also expand on the wine selection to include some from Argentina and Chile.”We’ re a convenience liquor store,” aid Bird. “It’s easy to get here. There’s no roundabout and there’s parking, too.”She also points out that the store is open from 10 a.m. until 11 p.m. so there’s plenty of time after work to get what you need. The store is in the Westgate Shopping Center just across from the west entrance to Beaver Creek, next to Flyfishing Outfitters.Joe’s Liquors
Where: Westgate Shopping Center, AvonPhone: 845-7333Cliff Thompson can be reached via e-mail at email@example.com or by calling 949-0555 ext. 450.