Portland store, Boston company team up for alcohol deliveries

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PORTLAND — Old Port Spirits & Cigars does not lack for foot traffic.

But last week, the Commercial Street store manager, Kevin Casey, took the show on the road after signing up with a Boston-based company to deliver alcohol throughout most of the city and South Portland.

“From our perspective, it helps us move more product, it is good for business,” Casey said April 14.

Old Port Spirits & Cigars provides the inventory and delivery vehicle and driver. Drizly provides the digital platform allowing customers to order and pay online. The store is the first in Maine to link with the company.

Portland is the 20th city Drizly has entered, company publicist Kerin Horgan said. It will soon add Craft Beer Cellar at 111 Commercial St., too.

Customers must order at least $30 worth of products per delivery, and pay a $5 delivery charge, but there is no mark-up on retail prices. Within Portland, in a territory extending from the peninsula through Libbytown and the Deering neighborhoods, deliveries are guaranteed within the hour.

Deliveries to South Portland are not guaranteed within an hour, but the territory extends from near Cash Corner and U.S. Route 1 to the Willard Square area. Horgan said company policy excludes deliveries to college campuses.

Customers can scan the inventory, updated to reflect any price changes, for beer, wine and hard alcohol. Delivery drivers will be able to use Drizly software to scan IDs and have the right to refuse service because a customer is already intoxicated or underage, Horgan said.

“Our staff is trained to spot a valid ID or a sketchy situation,” Casey said.

All sales for delivery will be processed online, so drivers will not handle cash.

Drizly requires retailers to pay a monthly fee, and has also expanded service to Canada, Horgan said. The company works with more than 30 stores in the Boston area, and was eager to get into the Portland market.

“We really wanted to get over the Casco Bay Bridge,” she said, adding the company will also be looking for retailers off the city peninsula.

For his part, Casey said he has been interested in delivery service since the quick arrival and departure of CarTenders, a delivery service in Portland that lasted less than a week in January 2015, according to Yelp reviews.

“I saw an ad for (Drizly’s) services about six months ago,” he said. “I looked long and hard into the liability; it was no more or less than doing pizza deliveries.”

Staff will split the delivery responsibilities, and the store will take delivery orders until 30 minutes after closing time.

David Harry can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 110 or dharry@theforecaster.net. Follow him on Twitter: @DavidHarry8.

Old Port Spirits & Cigars manager Kevin Casey and employee Erin Hadwen began servicing customers throughout the city April 14 with a delivery service based on software from a Boston company.

On April 14, Old Port Spirits and Cigars began delivery to the shaded areas on this map. Deliveries to Portland are guaranteed within an hour.

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Portland City Hall reporter for The Forecaster. Baltimore native, lived in Maine since 1989. A journalist since 2005, covering much of Cumberland and York counties. I joined The Forecaster in 2012.