There were winners and losers on election night 2020, and not just in politics. Some liquor stores in Colorado saw a boom in sales Monday and Tuesday, while restaurants and bars held steady, store owners said.
An uptick in bottle sales during an election is nothing new. Celebrating or drowning your Election Day sorrows dates back to George Washington, a blog by the National Conference of State Legislatures wrote. During the last presidential election in 2016, Forbes reported that Drizly.com, a liquor delivery service, tracked an 86 percent jump in sales compared to an average Tuesday night and 2020 was no exception to American's election drinking habits.
"Business has been very good today," Jim Little a co-owner of Coaltrain Fine Wine, Craft Beer & Spirits in Colorado Springs said. "People are preparing to celebrate one way or another."
Little said the lines in the store resembled a Friday or Saturday night more than a Tuesday night. Plus, customers were stocking up on "higher-end stuff" like Champagne and sparkling wine, Little said.
A worker at Bubbles Liquor World in Castle Rock did not have time to discuss election-related sales. .
“I am slammed," an employee who answered the phone said. "I have 20 customers who need my attention right now, I must go."
Cheers Liquor Mart owner Jack Backman said his Colorado Springs store was busier than normal the day before the election as people stocked up on booze.
"We were probably up 30% to 40% in sales compared to a normal Monday," Backman said.
But Backman noted that recent liquor sales were likely influenced by various factors, including increased restrictions related to the worsening pandemic. Backman thought people might be rushing to buy liquor before restrictions tighten any more.
El Paso County increased pandemic restrictions Wednesday, limiting indoor restaurant seating to 50% capacity and capping crowds at 100 people, down from 500.
Christal Doutt, a restaurant manager at Oskar Blues Grill and Brew, said Election Day had a slow start and blamed the impending restrictions for keeping patrons at home.
Adam Hiles, a manager at Jose Muldoon's, likewise saw no boost on Tuesday.
"The circumstances are difficult because we have nothing to go off," Doutt said. "There is nothing like this before to compare it to."