Gomer’s of Kansas, a liquor store selling fine wine and spirits, has moved to Lenexa City Center.
Steve McLeroy, who co-owns the store with his wife, Kathy McLeroy, said they specifically designed their new store for the customer experience. That means more space, more things to buy and lots of opportunities for customers interested in learning more about the favorite sips.
The new store, located in the middle of City Center at 17220 W. 87th St. Parkway, opened for business Nov. 1.
A grand opening and ribbon-cutting ceremony is scheduled for 4 to 6 p.m. Friday, Nov. 16. with free samples of wine, spirits and beer and live music from Ancient Chinese Secret.
The McLeroys first opened Gomer’s of Kansas in 1997 at 87th and Highway 69, now occupied by Jack Henry & Associates. Three years later, they moved shop to Rosehill Road and West 87th Street.
This brand-new, spacious store is nearly twice the size of their previous space, McLeroy said, adding that there’s plenty of parking as well.
“The stores we had before did a lot of business, but I never really felt at home in them because we were always shoehorning a store into an existing building,” he said. “Instead of rehabbing a store that’s designed for something else, this store is designed for the customer and the product that I sell.”
Design of the new store has been a two-year-long collaborative process with the city, McLeroy said, adding that he’s grateful for the city’s assistance and community atmosphere.
A cavelike shopping experience
The two-story liquor store is partially underground, like a cave, to optimize storage and energy efficiency. It houses an 800-bottle wine cellar, Gomer’s collectibles — including “hard-to-get” liquor — and rows and rows of beer, wine and spirits, each divided by their source so that it’s easy to find a beverage from, say, Idaho or Italy. Missouri and Kansas have their own sections as well. A well is stationed in one corner of the liquor store for customers to sample whiskey and other alcoholic beverages using filtered, reverse-osmosis water.
Authentic vintage and brand-new memorabilia are strung or posted along the walls. Steve McLeroy said many of the displays light up between 4:30 and 7:30 p.m. daily. Hours of operation for the store are 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday through Saturday and noon to 8 p.m. Sunday.
Every inch of the space is also compliant with the federal Americans with Disabilities Act, McLeroy said. And beginning April 1, 2019, Kansas law will permit Gomer’s of Kansas to start selling non-alcoholic beverages, food and “whatever I want,” he added.
Gomer’s of Kansas will provide education on wine, beer and spirits in a classroom. The second-floor of the two-store shop is nearly ready for use, including the new classroom space, outdoor patio and entry area.
McLeroy thanked Ed “Gomer” Moody for everything he taught him. Moody is the original owner of Gomer’s who started the business as a fueling station 49 years ago and eventually grew the business into the famous liquor franchise it is known as today.
McLeroy grew up in the business, sweeping floors at Gomer’s Fine Wine & Spirits at 99th and Holmes when he was 12 years old. McLeroy’s father, one of Moody’s partners, saw Steve’s potential as he learned the trade and gained decades of experience. The result? His own store bearing a similar name on the Kansas side.
Steve McLeroy also worked for the locally famous Gomer’s Fried Chicken, one of Moody’s side businesses of more than three decades.
“This store is a culmination of everything that Ed Moody taught me,” Steve McLeroy said. He also is grateful for mentorship from Doug Frost, a master sommelier from Prairie Village, who helped the McLeroys grow their understanding of the industry. “I can’t thank them enough, both of them.”