After more than 30 years anchored along South Roan Street, One Stop Wines and Liquors is moving its business to University Plaza near the East Tennessee State University campus.
Based on the ever-growing liquor market and the need for more space, owner Phil Scharfstein said it was simply time to move to a location that was better suited to One Stop’s needs.
“We have stretched our walls about as far as I can go and not interfere with the convenience store’s business,” he said.
The Scharfstein family will still maintain the convenience store, which means customers will still be able to get their broasted chicken fix.
One Stop Wines and Liquors will set up shop next door to Earth Fare in University Plaza in mid-July.
Scharfstein said he has looked at options for a new location over the past few years — including purchasing the Burger King that sits next door to One Stop’s current location, and moving across the street to the old Kroger shopping center — but none of those options have offered the kind of growth the University Plaza location offers.
“I’m really at a situation where in order to get new products in, I have to cut products and in today’s market, wine, spirits and high-gravity beer — we’re having more new products introduced to us on a weekly basis,” he said.
The current One Stop has a 3,500-square-foot sales floor and a warehouse that’s roughly the same size. Scharfstein said the new location is 8,000 square feet, and a large majority of the store’s product will be able to be displayed on the floor instead of it sitting in the back.
“I think it’ll help us in two different ways: it’ll get visibility for our product and our customers and also help us on the inside of the operation. I think there will be more dedication to trying to help the customer rather than trying to go into the warehouse and pull stock like what we’re having to do here,” he said.
Another added bonus of the new location is a major boost in parking.
With the development along the State of Franklin corridor and expansions at ETSU, Scharfstein said the new location will offer more opportunities as One Stop continues to grow.
One Stop Wines and Liquors was opened in 1982 by Scharfstein’s father, Ben. A move from South Roan shouldn’t be seen as abandoning the south side of town, Scharfstein said. Instead, he’s hoping loyal customers will travel the short distance to the new spot.
“We’re trying not to leave what brought us to the dance but give our customers a chance to have a better variety to shop and just moving slightly down the street,” he said.
Scharfstein said he hopes the new location, which sits across the street from Universal Wine and Spirits, will also capitalize on the new market of customers, including those who work at the Veterans Affairs Medical Center at Mountain Home and of-age students at the university.
“I think it’s a great corridor to pick up. There’s niche shopping throughout that area, so I think that will work for our benefit as well,” he said.
With the new location’s proximity to ETSU, Scharfstein said he is worried about underage drinking, but One Stop employees will continue to check the IDs of everyone buying alcohol.
“I will still worry about that over there, but we’ll keep a strict carding policy in place and just do everything that we possibly can in order not to sell to those under 21,” he said.
Although the wine in grocery stores bill fell through this year, Scharfstein acknowledged the issue could return.
If the bill is ever passed, the new location would put One Stop in direct competition with Earth Fare, but despite being next door to one another, Scharfstein signed the lease on the property before the vote was ever cast.
“I can’t find another building to suit our needs and I’ve been looking for several years, so good, bad or indifferent, we’re there,” he said.
As for the current One Stop location, Scharfstein said there are no definite plans in the works at this point. He’s had some interest in the property, but no leases have been drawn up and no sales have been made.
Scharfstein said he will begin looking into what to do with the property when renovations are well under way.