The Montrose ABS store in Montrose Crossing shopping center will reopen Jan. 27 as an Oak Barrel & Vine shop. Credit: Getty Images

Editor’s note: This article has been updated Jan. 25 to add who will be attending the grand opening and what Highly Allocated products will be sold during the event.

One of the oldest Alcohol Beverage Services stores in Montgomery County has gotten a makeover. The Montrose store in Montrose Crossing shopping center will reopen Jan. 27 as an Oak Barrel & Vine shop.

The ribbon cutting will be at 9:45 a.m. in front of the store at 1205-B Rockville Pike, and the day will include tastings from Bethesda-based Butterfly Spirits and Silver Spring-based Silver Branch Brewing Co. between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m., according to an ABS news release.

On Jan. 27 and several subsequent days, the store will sell “some rare and allocated items,” available when the store opens at 10 a.m., according to the release. “Each specific highly allocated item will be limited to one bottle per customer,” the release notes, and “No more than two highly allocated bottles can be purchased per customer, per day.”

The Highly Allocated products include Elijah Craig Toasted Barrel, Maker’s Mark Wood Finish series BRT-01, Blanton’s Bourbon, Stagg Bourbon and Blade and Bow Bourbon. For the full list, visit the county’s website.

The Oak Barrel & Vine branded stores feature handpicked items with a focus on spirits and local products, the county notes in the release. The upgraded store will have 25% more shelf space, a dedicated tasting area, queue lines for faster checkout and improved signage.

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The Montrose store will be open 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Friday and noon to 5 p.m. Sunday.

The location is the second ABS store to be upgraded to the Oak Barrel & Vine brand. The first, located in the Cabin John Village Shopping Center, opened in 2021. A third is under construction in the Gaithersburg Square shopping center and is expected to open in spring 2023. ABS intends to upgrade its remaining retail stores to the Oak Barrel & Vine brand over the next several years, according to the release.

“We are excited to introduce a second Oak Barrel & Vine store to Montgomery County,” said ABS Director Kathie Durbin in the release. “This is our store of the future, and it is designed to reflect our community by showcasing local products, providing tastings and events and offering a dynamic shopping experience.”

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The county government has sole authority over the sale and distribution of beer, wine and spirits. Besides 26 retail stores, ABS operates a warehouse that handles wholesale distribution. The question of whether the government should have a monopoly on alcohol in the county has been a perennial and hotly debated topic among restaurateurs, distributors, other entrepreneurs and local politicians.

County leaders who will attend the grand opening include County Executive Marc Elrich; Kathie Durbin, director of Montgomery County Alcohol Beverage Services; Chris Swonger, CEO of the Distilled Spirits Council of the United States; and Brett Robinson, founder of the Silver Spring-based Silver Branch Brewing Company.

The administration of Elrich has supported the monopoly and points to the ABS revenue: The agency contributed more than $35 million in revenue last year, according to the news release announcing the store, and more than $306 million over the last 10 years.

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