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Launched in 2014 by journalist Sean Baker, Med City Beat is an independent news source covering government, business and culture in Rochester, Minnesota.

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The buzz on Barrel House Liquors

The buzz on Barrel House Liquors

Chris Fierst, co-owner of Barrel House Liquors in Rochester, says he wants shopping at his liquor store to be like "shopping with your bartender."

Fierst and his business partner, Steve Lee, opened the 2,800 square-foot liquor store earlier this month inside the old  Cenex gas station at 545 16th Avenue Northwest (located just off of Civic Center Drive).

They spent the past few months fixing up the space, and still have plans to renovate the exterior of the building and resurface the parking lot.

The pair already own two restaurants in the area, the Half Barrel and Freight Yard, and are stocking the shop with some of their favorites from behind the bar. Staff picks dot the store indicating the brands that Fierst — known locally for his bartending chops — recommends taking home. 

Their mission is to cultivate relationships with customers and make the family-owned shop part of the neighborhood. Already, they are taking feedback from customers on what they would like to see stocked.

"We're catering to the neighborhood," Terry Lee, Steve's father, told us during a stop at the store Thursday. (Terry helps run the shop with his son, along with Fierst and his mother, Mary.) 

The Barrel House features a full line of whiskeys, gins and other liquor products, plus more than 300 different wines. In the cooler, customers can expect to find beer ranging from domestics, like Budweiser and Miller, to Minnesota craft brews, such as Summit, Fulton and Bent Paddle.

Its hours are 9 a.m. - 9 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 9 a.m. - 10 p.m. on Friday and Saturday, and 11 a.m. - 6 p.m. on Sunday. It is currently having a grand opening sale with discounts throughout the store.

You can follow their Facebook page for future updates.

Cover photo by Med City Beat

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