New ABC store

The new ABC store under construction on Wayne Memorial Drive. The store is slated to open in mid-November.

The ABC store on Wayne Memorial Drive is nearly finished, with a projected opening date in mid-November.

The actual building nears completion, said Michael Myrick, general manager at the Wayne County ABC Board.

“I’d say we still have some interior work to do,” Myrick said.

Once complete, the store’s selection should not be much of a departure from what ABC customers in Wayne County are familiar seeing.

“It’ll be about the same as the store over on Landmark Drive. It’ll be like the store on Landmark but a little bigger,” Myrick said. “A little bit more of the bourbon selection since bourbon is really hot these days, all of the bourbon trails in Kentucky and the bourbon groups popping up. So we’ll probably try to have as many high-scale bourbons as we can get in there.”

The new store has been the subject of controversy from the first announcement since it because of its proximity to Tommy’s Road Elementary School. After parents at the school brought their concerns to Mayor Chuck Allen in July, the ABC board agreed to build a higher fence than originally planned between the store and Tommy’s Road, to ensure no one wanders onto the school’s grounds from the ABC.

The fence will be one of the final steps before the store opens, Myrick said. Construction bids are going out now. Seegars Fence Company of Goldsboro is doing the first fence that the contractors need to put up, he said.

“We’re going to go speak with Seegars and a couple other fence companies and talk about the fence that we have to put up, plus we’re going to put up a couple more fences up front,” Myrick said.

The new site will include a 5,000-square-foot building, 33 parking spaces and an entrance along Wayne Memorial Drive. The construction cost an estimated $800,000 to $1 million to build, and will be Wayne County’s sixth location.

The store is expected to be one of the county’s most successful, Myrick said in March.

Wayne County ABC stores collectively generate almost $8.6 million in annual sales, with most of the profits, after expenses, returning to the county and municipal locations of the stores.

Wayne County received close to $300,000 in 2016, and the city of Goldsboro nearly $250,000 and Mount Olive about $50,000 in that same year. The ABC Board also contributes close to $20,000 each year locally for education and rehabilitation programs, such as Alcoholics Anonymous, Myrick said.