08 May 2014

Dot, dot, dot...

East Bay St., Charleston, S.C.
Quaintest little liquor store in Charleston. I can never post a picture of a S.C. liquor store without getting questions about the red dots so here is one explanation:

Red Dot Stores AKA Liquor Stores: Ever wonder why in South Carolina liquor stores have red dots as their sign? It started with Jesse Fabian a liquor store owner from Charleston and his sign man Alford "Doc" Wamsley. In 1945 the legislature enacted the requirement that sign lettering for a liquor store sign could not be any large than six inches high and four inched wide. After painting the correct size lettering on Jesse's store, they thought the letters were too small to be seen. Inspired by a pack of Lucky Strike cigarettes, Doc painted a red dot around the lettering. It spread all across the state. The reason you see a lot of stores using three dots with the letter A, B and C (one letter on each dot) is it stands for Alcohol Bureau of Control, the agency that oversee liquor stores. If you ask a local for a red dot store or a ABC store, chances are they will know what you need.

12 comments:

  1. There are some quirky booze laws around this country.

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  2. I would not have known that. It looks cozy.

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    1. It's a South Carolina thing.

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  3. Odd how liquor stores all over have their quirky identities... a friend of mine from Baltimore calls them "packaged goods stores". Bizarre! Here in NY, they just come right out and slap a huge "LIQUOR" sign up in neon. No pulling punches, no secret handshake. Like Nick the bartender says in "It's a Wonderful Life".... "Hey, look, mister, we serve hard drinks in here for men who want to get drunk fast. And we don't need any characters around to give the joint atmosphere."

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    1. Yes, I've heard Package Store a lot. What a silly thing to have all this mystery about getting a drink.

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  4. Same in Virginia, too. In Mass, they may say package store (includes beer and wine) but you want to ask a local for the packy (say pahcky.)

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  5. Red dot store... sunrise to sunset...

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  6. Well, now I know the answer to a question I never thought to ask!

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  7. When we first came to South Carolina we wondered why there were no liquor stores at all. Finally someone told us about the red dots. Thank you for the explanation. I had never heard it.

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    1. It is funny. You can still see faded circles on buildings long closed.

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  8. thankx
    welcom to free online photoshop
    http://www.onlin-photoshop.org/

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