LACONIA — Ricky Patel, who along with his wife, Patty, have owned and operated the Case & Keg for nearly five years, will celebrate the grand reopening of their Union Avenue convenience store with a ribbon-cutting ceremony with representatives from the Lakes Region Chamber of Commerce and local officials Friday morning.
''We spent eight months on the project but never closed the store at all and worked right through it,'' said Patel. ''It was a big investment but we said we want to do it once and do it right.''
The store has doubled it's display space and now offers more than 500 craft beers, an expanded wine selection as well as eight cases of fine cigars, a ''Beer Cave'' with a large supply of 30-packs and keg beer, convenience store staples from milk and bread to a wide variety of foods.
Patel says the beer selection is the largest in the Lakes Region and is probably second statewide to that of a Nashua store.
During the open house, which will last into the afternoon, there will be wine and beer tasting, food and snacks as well as discounts on all craft beer, cigars and wine.
''We want to show our appreciation to our loyal customers. They've helped make our business a success,'' says Patel.
He and his wife moved here five years ago from Warner-Robins, Georgia, where Patel's family ran a convenience store, in which he worked from the age of 15.
He said that he moved to the Lakes Region after finding out that the Case & Keg, which had been owned by Jeff Morin, was for sale and saw it as a good business opportunity for he and his wife, whom he had just married.
They took over the store on June 17, 2009 and two years later bought the Laconia Spa, where he has also invested in improvements to that downtown Laconia landmark.
''We had a store front next door which we leased as a deli and then as a restaurant. But both businesses closed so we decided to use the space ourselves,'' says Patty. The hard-working couple have two daughters Jiya, who is 4, and Mahi, 2 and try to take the weekends off so that they can enjoy time with them.
''We've been working 10 hours a day recently. It's been pretty hectic but our customers tell us how much they like the changes and that makes it all worth it,'' says Patty.
CAPTION: pix slugged Case & Keg
Patty and Ricky Patel with their four-year-old daughter, Jiya, in the recently expanded Case & Keg convenience store which celebrates a grand-reopening Friday. The couple, who moved to Laconia from Georgia five years ago, also own the Laconia Spa. (Roger Amsden photo for the Laconia Daily Sun. (Roger Amsden photo for the Laconia Daily Sun)