For Srinivas “Sam” Bandinani, investing $1.2 million in Beckett Wine & Liquor’s new, high-profile location made all the sense in the world.
The West Chester Twp. store’s recent move across Ohio 747 to a 4,800-square-foot building at 8212 Princeton Glendale Road provides increased visibility along a heavily-trafficked Butler County roadway. It also means an additional 2,300 square feet of space, allowing the business to offer a greater selection of local wine, craft beer and spirits, and giving Bandinani the opportunity to offer special tasting nights for each.
Purchasing and renovating the new location, which once housed a bank, also eliminated the need to pay rent, something he said amounted to nearly $7,000 a month at the former location, too costly a price for a business that only receives a 6 percent commission on retail transactions.
“That is a too-high rent for that space … to run a liquor store,” he said.
Leaving an information technology job in 2002, Bandinani decided to pursue a career in retail, purchasing Take a Break Liquor in Cincinnati’s Mount Healthy neighborhood.
“I’m not the guy who wants to sit in front of a computer for eight hours,” he said. “I always want to do something different.”
Bandinani said he started off employing just three employees and now employs approximately 60 people across the 10 area businesses he owns, including six gas station/drive-thru ventures and four liquor stores. That includes Beckett Wine & Liquor, which was launched in 1995 by its previous owner in the Beckett Commons shopping center. When health issues struck in 2014, that owner’s son reached out to Bandinani, who purchased the business.
He projects the new location will boost business by at least 20 percent.
Bandinani said he credits Dennis Dickard, chief building officer/building & zoning administrator for Butler County Department of Development, for helping him through the process of building renovation, West Chester Twp. trustees and police department for assisting in a liquor license transition and the township’s zoning department for aiding in the moving process.
He plans to open the store’s drive-thru this summer for customers wishing to purchase beer, wine, pop and cigarettes.
Beckett Wine & Liquor most popular item is vodka, which is closely followed by whiskeys like Jim Beam and Jack Daniels. Business in the liquor industry has increased in recent years because more people are drinking bourbons, especially customers between 30 and 40 years old, Bandinani said.
“We never used to sell that many bottles but in these past two to three years, the trend began so much that everybody is asking ‘Hey, what kind of bourbon do you have?’ which we never heard of in so many years,” he said.
Bandinani said that in addition to the West Chester Twp. business, he owns a condominium in the township, one that he uses as the main office for his entrepreneurial efforts.