Day 24: Last Chance Liquor.
This is Last Chance Liquor at 619 E. 4th Street, Duluth on Wednesday, June 20, 2012. That water flowed and flowed and flowed until more than nine feet filled the wine cellar and basement of the building. The people living in the apartments above had to be evacuated and haven’t been able to stay in their homes since. Why does this matter to me? Last Chance Liquor has been my family’s business for more than 40 years.
My grandfather started the business in the 1960’s and my uncle and cousins still run it today. When I was little, I dusted bottles in the wine cellar and rode up the conveyor belt from the basement. To this day, I walk into a liquor store and catch the distinct smell of cardboard boxes slightly dampened with beer and liquor and I think, “Ah…childhood.” (Yes, I know this is weird). Last Chance is a popular and thriving Duluth institution that provides jobs and even homes for the people who live above the store. When the storm sewers couldn’t handle the waters running through Duluth’s streets, it crashed into Last Chance’s basement and wine cellar, decimating their inventory and leaving a huge mess, bills, expenses and uncertainty in the wake.
This is my uncle, David Katoski, owner of Last Chance Liquor. He’s dedicated his life to the place. And my grandmother, Irene (age 88 … shh, she’ll KILL me if she knows I spilled that info) who spent her life with my grandfather building the business and still owns the building. As you can see, the floors are still wet, but a massive and dedicated corps of volunteers have helped clean and organize what they can. After this photo was taken, K and I drove my grandma to the Twin Cities so she could get away for a week. She’s been sick with worry and everyone wants her to see what a difference a week will make. Against all odds, Last Chance has remained open for business.
Here’s how you can help:
On Monday, June 25, 2012 they’re having a huge beer LIQUIDation sale (ha! get it?!?) If you’re in the Duluth area, please stop by Last Chance Liquor at 619 E. 4th Street and stock up on beer for summer. If you’re not in Duluth, please spread the word. Let’s help Last Chance sell out so they can clean up and start rebuilding better than ever.
On behalf of my family and everyone involved with and touched by this local, family owned business, thank you!
For more information or if you’d like other opportunities to assist, please email EatDrinkLifeLuv (at) gmail.com