CORRECTION: An earlier version of this story misstated the address of the store. A corrected version is below.
The midstate’s largest liquor store is set to open in September on Log Cabin Drive if all goes according to plan.
Macon Beverage Superstore will be in a building at 4580 Log Cabin Drive that’s now being renovated. Owner Rahul Puranik bought the building in December and has spent the ensuing months renovating the store.
In all, it will be about 23,000 square feet, about 40 percent of the size of the neighboring Kroger store off Presidential Parkway (at 58,000 square feet) and larger than the Aldi store on Log Cabin (at about 18,000 square feet).
“This is going to be the largest store in Middle Georgia, if not the largest in Georgia,” Puranik said.
The Johns Creek businessman is planning a “multimillion investment” in the property, which he hopes will be a draw for the area as well as from traffic along Interstate 475.
“A store like this only works by bringing more people in to shop than just those in the local community,” Puranik said. The area’s retailers already bring in substantial numbers of shoppers from a 12-county area around Macon, he said, and he hopes to add people traveling on I-475 by using billboard advertising.
Puranik noted that with good prices and a “huge selection” of craft beers, imported and domestic wine and liquor, the store can build a local following, as well as gather in snowbirds heading to Florida on the interstates.
“It’s going to be a beautiful building. It’s definitely going to be one of the upscale stores in the market,” Puranik said.
His investment also includes another 10,000 square feet of adjacent retail space that can be rented out, or perhaps become a growler store, selling beer from the tap in reusable containers that consumers can take home.
“When I started this project, Macon had not changed the laws on growlers, so if this goes well we may start to do something with that,” he said.
Puranik has opened and sold four other liquor stores across the state and said his experience in working with Macon city officials has been excellent.
“The city has been very cooperative and very helpful,” he said. “It is one of the most business friendly cities or counties I’ve seen in Georgia.”
He said he plans to keep this store, which is nearly double the size of his previous stores, rather than sell, as he did with his others.
“I don’t think I want to exit this one. I want to have this one for the long haul,” Puranik said.
To contact writer Mark Vanderhoek, call 744-4225.