GLEN ROCK, N.J.– Bottle King owner Kenneth Friedman celebrated the opening of his new Glen Rock location with a flag-raising ceremony Friday morning and donations to two local organizations.
Friedman gave $500 each to the Thomas D. Egan Glen Rock VFW Post 850 and American Legion Post 145.
"He allowed us to distribute poppies out front during our poppy drives," the VFW's Bob Steinberg said. "We want to support him for supporting us."
State Sen. Bob Gordon (D-NJ) presented Friedman with a proclamation.
The new 19,000-square-foot store is across Prospect Street from its predecessor. It has a larger wine and cheese selection and a temperature-controlled wine case, said Friedman, who founded Bottle King 46 years ago.
The owner told guests a story from his early days in the business.
"In the mid-1970s, you couldn't get Coors beer in New Jersey because it wasn't pasteurized," he said.
Friedman heard about a warm beer retailer in South Jersey that went to Colorado to buy and bring back the suds.
Friedman went to the warehouse – which had a line 30-40 trucks deep –and cut a check for a trailer load of the beer.
"'What do I tell all these other people?,' the warehouse owner asked," Friedman recalled. "I said, 'Tell them the beer went bad.'"
Friedman said he hired an armored truck and two security guards carrying shotguns deliver the goods to his Union store.