WK Liquors holds grand reopening


Michael Crimmins

Manojkumar Patel, owner of WK Liquors, bags a purchase for a customer on Thursday, Jan. 19 at the reopening of the store in Bowling Green, Ky.

Michael Crimmins, Administration reporter

Lines of Western Kentucky University students heralded the grand reopening of WK Liquors on the 31 W Bypass in Bowling Green. 

Manojkumar Patel has owned and operated WK Liquors for almost three years, before the Dec. 11, 2021 tornado that devastated Bowling Green left ruins where the store once stood.

Patel said he designed the store himself on the backs of wooden boards that now hang by the register along with lumber from the original store and construction lumber from the current WK Liquors.

Patel said since the official reopening on Jan. 19 at 4 p.m., business has been steady with students happy to have this “pillar” back in Bowling Green. 

Patel said he is glad to be back in business and loves seeing the community, and especially WKU’s, support.

The outside of WK Liquors before its grand reopening on Thursday, Jan. 19 in Bowling Green, Ky. (Michael Crimmins)

“It’s been a good start,” Patel said. “WKU students are my clientele. I support all of the institutions. It’s just the right way to go about things.”

Patel handed out tee shirts with “Coffee in the front. Whiskey in the back” printed on the back to customers as they came to the counter to check out.

Sydney Shrewsbury was one such student who received a shirt. She said she has been coming to the store since she could legally drink.

“I’ve been coming since I turned 21 really,” Shrewsbury said. “This is the only place I come. I go through the drive thru everywhere else but here I come inside.”

She said it’ll take some adjustment to get used to the new place, since she knew the store before the tornado, but she is happy for Patel and his family.

“It’s kind of weird at first, you know, a lot to take in, but it’s so cute, I love it,” Shrewsbury said. “I’m so happy for them that they have this nice new place.”

Shrewsbury said chatting with Patel and feeling known through his comments like “I haven’t seen her around” and “how’s your sister?” are what keep her coming back.

“They know who I am,” Shrewsbury said. “It’s a friendly [environment]. They know everyone basically. I’m so excited they’re back, I was so excited to see them again; they’re awesome.” 

Patel said he plans to keep going with his business as long as he can.

Administration reporter Michael Crimmins can be reached at [email protected].