South Jersey liquor store open again after big crowds forced it to close

Mike DeNardo
March 27, 2020 - 3:56 pm
Canal's Discount Liquor Mart in South Jersey.

Mike DeNardo/KYW Newsradio

PENNSAUKEN, N.J. (KYW Newsradio) — A South Jersey liquor store reopened Friday afternoon after a weeklong shutdown that was triggered when too many customers jammed the aisles. 

Canal's Discount Liquor Mart in Pennsauken had been closed since Sunday. In the days before that — with Pennsylvania liquor stores closed — four to five times the usual number of customers crowded into the Route 38 store. 

Manager Gary Brady and the son of the owner decided there was no way people could practice social distancing in those conditions.

"It was just mayhem. In the middle of the day we had to lock the doors. We only allowed so many people to come in the store. We just had too many people in the store. Johnny Canal and I were looking at each other kinda all day like, 'We can't sustain this,’ “ Brady said. 

Brady decided to put people over profits, and temporarily closed the store. 

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This week, Brady says every bottle in the store was sanitized, and he says now that the store is open again, only ten people at a time will be allowed inside. 

He says customers understood the closure.

"The reaction from all of our customers has been positive in the idea that we kind of put our employees and the safety of our valued customers first,” he said. 

Brady joked that two of his employees with "strong personalities" will be outside the store, regulating the number of shoppers inside.