After nearly 38 years, the Plaza Beverage in Tunkhannock has changed hands.
Al Patel recently took over as its new owner, changing the name to Tunkhannock Beverage. Patel previously managed a gas station and decided to go into business for himself after working for someone else for several years.
“I’ve been in retail business for about 10 years, so I decided to move on and buy my own business,” he said.
Bill and Barb Jeffreys purchased the Plaza Beverage on West Tioga Street nearly four decades ago.
“It was just time to retire,” Bill Jeffreys said while helping Patel bring in a new shipment of beer last week as they finished the transition.
Over the years, the Jeffreys always strove to operate a community-oriented business, sponsoring athletic teams and community events like the Sick Boys Thurston Hollow Jerk Off, as well as donating to student fundraisers within the Tunkhannock Area School District.
Offering well wishes to the new owner, he added that this community involvement will hopefully continue.
Patel said that’s exactly his goal with Tunkhannock Beverage.
“We’ll serve the community the way Bill and Barbara served, provide the same excellent service and try to help the community in the best possible way we could,” he said.
It’s a “tremendous feeling” to be a new business owner, added Patel, who moved to the Tunkhannock area from Wilkes-Barre five years ago.
After being an outsider five years ago, he’s been pleased to see people showing support since finding out he took over the business. Knowing a lot of people in the community, he has high hopes for long-term support.
“I can’t ask for better,” Patel said.
At Tunkhannock Beverage, customers could find a wide variety of alcoholic drinks.
“We’ve got a lot of different varieties, all those seltzers and IPAs,” he said.
Patel encourages customers to practice social distancing while shopping and wear a face mask to prevent the spread of COVID-19. He keeps extras available if someone doesn’t have their own.
For now, Tunkhannock Beverage, 168 W. Tioga St., is open Monday through Saturday from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m., but Patel may eventually extend these hours later into the evening. The store is still closed on Sundays, but he said it’s possible this could change in the long run.
For more information about Tunkhannock Beverage, call 570-836-1266.