By S.D. Plissken | May 1, 2018
The NH Liquor & Wine Outlet stores at the Lilac Mall in Rochester and on Route 11 in Farmington have closed.
The NH Liquor Commission (NHLC) announced on March 2 that it would “… open a new, 20,000-square-foot New Hampshire Liquor & Wine Outlet on Tuesday in Rochester. The state-of-the-art, freestanding store, which is located within The Ridge Marketplace on Route 11 just off Exit 15 of the Spaulding Turnpike, features an enhanced shopping experience, more than 6,600 sizes and varieties of wines and spirits, and a strategic location providing exposure to more than 36,000 daily motorists. NHLC anticipates this new store generating $9.5 million in sales each year. This new, larger location will replace the existing Lilac Mall store on Route 125 in Rochester and the Route 11 site in Farmington.”
NH Liquor Commission Chairman Joseph Mollica said, “We are constantly evaluating our stores looking for opportunities to optimize our sales success, which last year reached an all-time record of nearly $700 million. This new store will serve our customers in Farmington, Rochester, and neighboring communities in Maine, as well as the traveling public.”
The new Ridge Marketplace location opened as planned on Tuesday, March 6. It is 5 miles from the former Farmington location and 3.4 miles from the former Lilac Mall location.
In related news, the NHLC closed the Dover and Somersworth outlets in favor of a larger new Somersworth outlet. The Portsmouth Circle outlet is being expanded in place.
New Hampshire is one of seventeen states that chose to create state-run monopolies when Prohibition was repealed in 1933. (The other choices being continued state-level prohibition and licensing private vendors).
NH Public Radio (NHPR) ran a short report of the history of NH liquor licensing on its Only In New Hampshire show in December 2017: You Asked, We Answered: Why Do All New Hampshire Bars Have To Sell Food? (11:28).