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Raising the Bar
Why I built a bar in my jewelry store

Alcohol has been around since perhaps before the very first meal was ever served. And through the ages, alcohol has played a role in everything from religious events and inaugurals to countless toasts, proposals, and many other types of celebrations. On a trip I took to the Bahamas a while back, I noticed that many of the jewelry stores had a bar that served wine to its shoppers—and wondered why jewelry stores in New York don’t do the same. My wheels started turning…

When I returned to the U.S., I contemplated the idea of a bar in one of my jewelry stores. After some preliminary research, I discovered that the process of obtaining a liquor license would take a fair amount of time, and could easily cost well over $30,000. After spending time in the Bahamas, I knew I wanted to bring the hospitality I had seen to the capital region of upstate New York.

Glennpeter Jewelers filed for the liquor license a full year in advance of our opening for the new Glennpeter location in Albany, on Black Friday of November 2008, to be more exact. The new 10,000 square foot Diamond Centre boasts a built-in bar which includes a flat screen TV, backlit display cases, and bar snacks. My customers (or guests as I like to refer to them) can enjoy a glass of wine, beer or soda at the bar or opt to sit by the store’s 10-foot long state-of-the-art fireplace with sushi or a turkey sandwich.

It wasn’t easy to get the license, but it was well worth it. I have become a certified bar owner, which required a training course called “ABC’s of the Alcoholic Beverage Control Law.”

We wanted to do this the right way. We knew if we could succeed in the creation of this bar, it was an idea that could have plenty of potential. The day before we received the actual license, a man proposed to his girlfriend in our store—and now, with couples like this, Glennpeter will be able to offer the couple champagne right on the spot, in celebration of such an exciting event.

Glennpeter Jewelers has been a family owned and operated store since 1950 when it was opened by my father, Nate Weiss. The business is now operated by myself, CEO, and my business partner, David Blackmore, president. With five locations in the capital region, Glennpeter offers the highest quality in jewelry with a specialization in diamonds. Using state-of-the-art technology and offering a full jewelry repair shop, Glennpeter Jewelers ensures that every diamond is handled with care and tailored for our clientele.

We are very excited about the opening of our new location, and are proud to be the first jewelry store in New York state with its very own liquor license. We look forward to continuing our superb customer service in the capital region’s most high-end jewelry store setting, and pleasing our guests with a drink to commemorate their special purchase. I would be honored to share a glass of wine or beer with you, so just stop in to say hello if you are in the area and check out our new facility.

Jeff Weiss
Jeff Weiss at the Glennpeter Diamond Centre in Albany, New York. Photo by Paul Buckowski of Times Union.