: For many, that humiliating wait braving searing heat or heavy downpour in front of dingy outlets to buy one’s favourite brand of liquor may soon be a thing of the past.

The Kerala State Beverages Corporation Limited (Bevco) is likely to open its new, swanky and fully air conditioned premium liquor outlet in the city by next month. Bevco has taken on rent a 4,000 sq.ft-space at Gandhi Nagar near Kadavanthra for the purpose.

Furnishing was fast progressing and the outlet would be ready for operations by the second week of May, Bevco sources told The Hindu . It would be set up at an investment of about Rs. 65 lakh.

Bevco had opened its first such premium outlet at Ulloor in Thiruvananthapuram in August last year as part of what is regarded as its initiative to promote ‘responsible drinking.’ Excise Minister K. Babu had at that time said similar outlets would be opened in Kochi and Kozhikode shortly.

The delay has been attributed to the time taken to identify a location fit for the outlet and the government’s principle not to open new liquor outlets. The proposal eventually materialised when identification of a proper location coincided with the closure of a Bevco outlet at Palarivattom.

Sources said the upcoming outlet in the city would be a lot more expansive than the one at Thiruvananthapuram where space is a major constraint, hindering even proper upkeep of stock. Unlike the latter where sales is a mix of self-service and conventional counter service, the one at Kochi would be completely self-service driven, a top official said.

He said all premium and fast-moving Indian Made Foreign Liquor brands would be made available at the shop. A decision is yet to be taken on the starting price range of brands to adorn the outlet. It would be run by deploying existing employees of Bevco outlets, the official said.

The initiative would be a welcome change for both the consumers and the staff fed up of the dirty environs of the existing Bevco outlets.

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