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Retail Review: Bonnet Liquors

Bonnet Liquors’ Howie Logee and Tom McDonald, Manager.

Bonnet Liquors
965 Boston Neck Road
Narragansett, RI

Square footage: 800

Years in operation: 30 years

By Sara Capozzi

Celebrating 30 years in business, Bonnet Liquors continues to serve the north Narragansett community of Bonnet Shores with a convenient location and superior selection, while catering to all of its customer base.

In the neighborhood, Bonnet Liquors’ location on Boston Neck Road attracts shoppers who are on their way to popular state beaches and locales including Narragansett and Scarborough Beaches and the Bonnet Shores Beach Club. Manager Tom McDonald said the key to the store’s success is its friendly service and its aptitude for accommodating the seasonal shifts of its customer base. “It’s a small store that packs a big punch in a unique beach community,” he explained. “We have yearlong residents and customers, and we appreciate them very much. They are the engine in this store and they keep us going season to season. After Memorial Day, we have summer residents who have different needs.”

As the seasons shift, so does the clientele, and McDonald and his team of employees are happy to adapt. They do so by stocking more high-end Napa Valley wines and allocated spirits for tourists in the summer months and offering beer specials and ready-to-drink beverages that appeal to a younger-skewing demographic who rent during the fall and spring college semesters.

“We have to change our buying style that time of year to accommodate [summer tourists]—a lot of fine wine, fine Champagne, Chardonnay, hard-to-get bourbons and tequilas, a lot of craft beer,” McDonald said.

“And then when the summer concludes, the population becomes mostly students that we cater to … but we always keep our yearlong customers in mind and we always make sure that what’s supposed to be on the shelf is on the shelf,” he said. Beer is the top seller in the store, and Bonnet is known for its specials on Narragansett 30-packs and its focus on local state breweries, along with ever-popular seltzers and ready-to-drink cocktails.

Bonnet employs a closeknit team of seven employees, which expands to about 12 during the summer months. “We have terrific employees,” McDonald said. “Since I’ve been here, lots of college students have come in and out of here … It’s fun because after all these years, they come back with their families and check in.”

McDonald and his team enjoy being part of the Bonnet Shore’s friendly year-round community, raising money for a number of local charitable causes.

“We’re part of Bonnet Shores, the store has been here a long time and we’ve been serving these residents for a long time,” he said. “We just value them so much. We’re courteous and we’re always willing to help customers and make their experience here as easy as possible for them. So in return, they come back. It seems to be a good formula for us. We accommodate all of our customers no matter what they’re looking for and they help us grow.”


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