Bhupinder Dhillon says he hopes to open the Spring Lake Party Store in the big orange building at the southeast corner of M-104 and Lake Avenue by the end of June. The building formerly housed Stone's and Topp's butcher stores, a dollar store, and a grocery store.
“Basically, we want to have a really state-of-the-art store in Spring Lake Village,” Dhillon said.
Dhillon also owns two Grand Haven businesses — the Seaway Party Store on Taylor Avenue and the Sunoco gas station/liquor store on Beechtree Street. He is in the process of constructing a Way Back Burgers location across the street from the east-side gas station, but ran into setbacks due to the recent discovery of underground storage tanks.
“We don't have any good stores there,” he said of the Spring Lake location. “We'll have a great choice of wines, spirits and beers, and a convenience store/small grocery. We also don't have a great cigar shop around here. We want to bring a lot of high-end cigars.”
Currently in the village, the Rite Aid across the street and the Wesco store west on Savidge Street sell liquor, beer and wine. Orchard Market and the Corner Market to the east in Spring Lake Township also sell beer, wine and liquor.
Dhillon is waiting on approval from the Michigan Liquor Control Commission for a “resort” license. Unlike a traditional liquor license that can be sold and moved, a resort license stays with the property.
“I don't anticipate any issues,” he said about obtaining the license.
Spring Lake Downtown Development Authority and local Chamber of Commerce officials wrote letters to the state commission to recommend approval of the license request. Village Council unanimously approved a resolution of support at its Monday night meeting.
“I have been looking for a place for many, many years, and finally this building came up for sale,” Dhillon said. “I thought it was a good opportunity. It's a good location, on a corner. It's in easy view.”
The bright orange store, which many consider an eyesore, will undergo a $1.2 million remodel, including a brick and siding exterior that, when completed, Dhillon said will look similar to the Rite Aid across the street.
“The color, and the way it's been designed, is nasty,” he said of the building. “Inside, we want to put in beautiful flooring.”
He plans on a black ceiling and black shelving, with gray concrete or tile flooring.
“I want to give it a beautiful look,” he said.
Selections will include 28,000 varieties of wine. The Seaway Party Store showcases 13,000 varieties.
He'll also have a 40-door beer cooler with 160 domestic, imported and local craft brands. Beers will come from Asia, Germany, Belgium, India, China, Japan and other parts of the world.
“We're not going to have any beer that's not available in that store,” he said. “When the tourists hit, they can come here looking for variety.”
Dhillon also plans to offer a small grocery section (think convenience store, no fresh meat or produce) and sandwiches.
“We will have a big open cooler and will have delivery of fresh sandwiches every day,” he said. “We'll have a quick lunch program where people can have a little snack, sandwich and drink for like $5.99. There's also a patio out front, so they can have a sandwich and sit and enjoy the sun sometimes.”