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New liquor store opens this week in Coates

Rich Jacobson will open Rich's Discount Liquor in the building where he once ran a strip club

The brightly-colored pink building in Coates is no longer. The pink paint gave way recently to a gentle green, as the building is being transformed into Jake's Discount Liquors. It opens Thursday, Nov. 17, at 15981 Clayton Avenue, just off Highway 52.

Changing the color of the building wasn't an easy decision for owner Rich Jacobson to make. He's heard from several people they use it as a landmark when giving directions to friends. In the end, though, he decided the pink had run its course and it was time to begin smoothing out some rough edges with the residents of Coates.

For years, Jake's gentleman's club operated out of the building. About nine years ago, though, after a long battle with the City of Coates, the establishment closed. That's when Jacobson painted the building hot pink.

That's all in the past. Jacobson is now focused on the future of the building, and he's hard at work to transform the space into a well-regarded liquor store. That said, he will do his best to pay homage to its history.

In one corner of the store he is planning to have a couch, a table and a shiny pole that were all used when the gentleman's club was in operation.

"I still have all those old poles and the old couches," he said. "We'll have a little retro look, just in the one spot. It won't be functional, of course, but it will look functional. Hopefully that doesn't cause a problem."

While the building sat vacant for nine years, Jacobson continued to consider different business models for the space. He considered renting it out for a café, and some gas station chains had expressed interest in the property. In the end, a friend suggested the liquor store, and Jacobson ran with the idea. When it came time to name the store, Jake's was the only name he considered.

"I figured I'd keep the name," he said. "It might give me a little more exposure."

Renovations inside began weeks ago, and have been accelerated to hit the Thursday opening in time. Outside the painting was completed and a new exterior door was scheduled to arrive early this week, as were all the shelves and counters.

"We accelerated the schedule," Jacobson said. "It's pretty important to be open for the holidays."

The store will sell beer, wines and liquors. He was able to get a liquor license from the City of Coates, and the zoning for the property was changed, too, allowing him to open the business.

Jake's Discount Liquors can be reached by calling 651-437-2224.