Almost ten years ago….
How could downtown Salida not have a liquor store? Ever since Prohibition ended, F Street had been host to a bottle shop.
For years, local residents relied originally on Dikkins Liquor Store and later the Jug to find their libations. Sadly, the owners of the Jug closed the shop in 2001 due to family health issues. Essentially, it was gone.
Well, how about a real estate office instead? Nope. How about a massage studio? Nope. Salidans wanted their favorite liquor store back.
Fortunately, our heroes, Jerry, Sally and Chad Hixon, entered the scene and bought the former Jug property in the fall of 2003. They decided to run a specialty liquor store. With a focus on high-end wines, specialty liquors and craft beers, the Hixons opened the new version of the Jug on February 21, 2004.
So, the store had a new look and a new name (sort of) Owner Chad Hixon wanted to include his grandfather’s name in the full name of the bottle shop. Thus, Arlie Dale’s Jug Liquors it was.
Now Arlie Dale’s Jug is a nine-year Colorado institution. The store offers a selection of more than 300 wines and carries more than 200 microbrews and imports. And who doesn’t recognize the famous Jug logo on stickers, hoodies, koozies and hats around Salida, (and the US for that matter)?
And Jug Liquor’s mascots Rocco and Quik are basically local celebrities. Sadly, Quik died from kidney failure in November 2012. While everyone misses, the beloved basset hound, Quik’s memory and image remain a special part of Jug Liquors.
So what do locals think about the Jug?
“I like the selection here,’” says Mike La Croix, a brewer for Amicas. They’ve had our bottled beer ever since Chad opened the store. So that’s cool.” La Croix also cites another interesting reason he feels connected to Jug Liquors.
“My grandfather had an IGA in Northern New Hampshire and it smelled just like the Jug.”
“Some of the prices are as good as Applejack’s, so why go to Denver?” asks Suzanne Kokovinis who has been coming to Jug Liquors even before she moved here almost five years ago.
Bob Santoro gives a trifecta response to why he likes the Jug, “The staff is really great. It’s convenient and reasonable. Happy Birthday, Jug Liquors!”
“I just think it’s a really special place,” says Natalie Penny who has worked for Jug Liquors almost a year. “It’s not your normal liquor store. It’s a boutique.”
Penny says the Jug is a community and the staff tries to get to know customers. “People come in because we do know their names. We’re here to listen. We’re here to laugh. We’re here to help the community maintain a balanced lifestyle of love and happiness.”
“I like it because it’s downtown,” says Jug regular Micheal Ramsey. “I could buy my beer on highway 50, but I just like the [Jug]. “They actually know my name,” Ramsey adds. “I dig the Jug. I dug the Jug I dig the dog.”
Finally, what does Chad Hixon think about the Jug turning nine?
“This morning [February 21] I was thinking it’s kinda cool Winter Storm Q dropped so much snow on Monarch on the Jug’s Birthday. Kinda like Quik, or Q, is giving us a Happy 9th birthday present! Wouldn’t have it any other way. Also just thanks to everyone who keeps us going.”