Two Doors Down from 7-Eleven, a Convenience Store Loses Its Beer

husseinDaniel Maurer

Hussein Elhage will be without a powerful competitive edge when a 7-Eleven opens a couple of doors down from his convenience store. The State Liquor Authority has suspended his license to sell beer.

Back in December, St. Marks Convenience was one of several East Village stores caught up in a series of underage sales busts. The shopkeeper, who has owned the store since 1990, told The Local he was being unfairly targeted.

The State Liquor Authority wasn’t all that sympathetic: In late February, the Authority imposed a 30-day suspension and a $10,000 fine on the store. Last weekend, the beer coolers were sealed, though Mr. Elhage said that hasn’t stopped people from trying to steal from him. He caught one person in the act moments before The Local walked into the store on Friday.

Mr. Elhage kept up his complaints about the city pinching small businesses, but doesn’t expect the store’s dry spell to last long; he said he’d be serving again in a couple of weeks.