Forks’s state liquor store closing

Munson retires after almost 40 years at job

Greg Munson

Chris Cook – Forks Forum photo

After almost 40 years behind the counter Forks state liquor store manager Greg Munson is packing it in at the Washington State Liquor Store.

Munson began running the store in Sept. 1 1972. He is retiring effective Tuesday, May 8, he said while cleaning the store’s windows one last time on Monday, May 7. 

State auditors were scheduled to arrive at the store located at 180 South Forks Ave. on Tuesday to take a tally of the inventory of hard liquor bottles prior to removing them to a state warehouse in Seattle. 

He said the auditors are closing down contract liquor stores this month. Because he had already announced his retirement, he said, the auditors chose to start with the Forks store.

On June 1 liquor is going on sale at Forks Outfitters. The change from state stores to private business sales is likely to cause a boost in prices across the state for the liquor due to changes in Washington State tax regulations.

The state contract liquor store on Highway 112 in Clallam Bay is for now the closest outlet to Forks to buy bottles of hard liquor.

Munson receives a commission from his sale of state-owned bottles of liquor at the Forks store. Such a store is known as a contract liquor store. Other stores have been are run by Washington state. In late April the Washington State Liquor Control Board  auctioned off the rights to sell retail hard liquor at the state-run stores. Rights to 167 stores located across the state were successfully auctioned off, bringing in $30.75 million to the state.

The state took over control of hard liquor retail sales in the Prohibition era.

Munson said the arrival of sizable numbers of Twilight fans that began several years ago brought the biggest boost to his business since the decline following the Northern Spotted Owl logging cutbacks.

A peak logging industry revenue year in 1979 fueled the largest annual gross sales for the Forks store during his 40 years operating the store, Munson said. Within a few weeks of the Northern Spotted Owl cutbacks his sales dropped off sharply, he said, never to return to the prior levels.l

The now former liquor store manager, who is a member of Forks High School Class of 1964, said he plans to take off by the weekend on a retirement vacation. He plans to drive south to the Redding, Ca. Area to visit his children.