New LCBO toast of the Danforth

The March 12 opening of the long-anticipated new LCBO store on the Danforth was celebrated in style.

Not only was Bob Peters in attendance — in his capacity as president and CEO of the Liquor Control Board — but so was city councillor Mary Fragedakis of Ward 29/Toronto-Danforth and Marlene Stephens, the Toronto chapter president of Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD).

What was a MADD chapter head doing at the opening of a liquor store?

Peters told the small crowd in attendance that the LCBO has a longstanding commitment to responsible drinking and to MADD. In turn, Stephens expressed her organization’s appreciation of LCBO support.

Funds raised by LCBO staff will be used in MADD’s school assembly program, which teaches young people about the dangers of impaired driving, with an emphasis on “making responsible choices,” according to Stephens.

The new 13,000 square-foot store is located at 200 Danforth Ave., at Broadview, on the north side of the street — the site previously occupied by the Albany Medical Clinic. The store is twice as large as the former one on the south side of the Danforth, according to the LCBO.

Peters explained that the new store is part of the LCBO’s plan to offer excellent customer service to all Ontarians.

“New and renovated stores like this contribute to high levels of customer satisfaction and have helped the LCBO deliver 18 consecutive record-dividend transfers to the province, including an all-time high $1.6 billion dividend in fiscal 2011-12,” he said.

Fragedakis expressed her excitement over efforts that the new LCBO made to fit into the neighbourhood. She even reminded the crowd that Greeks who populate the surrounding neighbourhood could teach everyone about “how to party.”

In recognition of its Greektown location, the store is carrying a special selection of Greek wines, spirits and beers.

Overall, customers can now enjoy a selection of 1,900 beverages including wine, spirits and gift packs. There is also a special vintages section of high-end wines and a walk-in cold room for beer, ready-to-drink cocktails and coolers.

Peters emphasized that the focus of all LCBO stores is changing.

“LCBO stores are no longer just about bottles on shelves,” he said. “This is a place where you can get advice on planning a dinner party, improve your product knowledge and sample products from Ontario and more than 84 different countries.”