Best Genie in a Bottle

Idaho liquor stores look better than ever

Staff Pick

When Howard Wasserstein took over as Procurement, Distribution and Retail Operations director for the Idaho State Liquor Division, he had a goal: to make state liquor stores look as little like the Department of Motor Vehicles as possible. Instead, he wanted to design liquor stores like one designs jewelry stores: classy darkwood shelves, clean black ceilings, lighting that created a waterfall effect on the rows and rows of liquor bottles. He strives to make Idaho's liquor stores beautiful. So far, a handful of stores around the state have undergone the transformation, including the stores on Broadway Avenue, Grove Street and Vista Avenue. The redesign has helped increase the sale of liquor in the state, and more money for liquor means more revenue for public schools; substance abuse treatment; and the coffers of state, county and city governments. Shopping in a state-run liquor store has never been so inviting.

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