This is Carolina: Couple adds trendy wine and beer shop to Lake City

Updated: May. 6, 2020 at 5:28 PM EDT
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LAKE CITY, S.C. (WMBF) - A former gas station in Lake City has been turned into a trendy new business in Lake City.

The former Citgo gas station on Church Street has been fittingly renamed ‘Sip Co.,' and tastefully renovated to match the city’s growing trend downtown.

Lake City’s Sip Co. Wine & Beer opened its doors for the first time Friday, May 1 to customers.

“There’s just a lot happening. There’s new businesses popping up constantly,” Sip Co. owner, Emmett Kerr, said.

Kerr said he’s been working to open Sip Co. in the old Citgo location for two years.

“There’s people that have driven from Charleston and even as far from Bishopville,” Kerr said of where his customers have come from so far to see Lake City’s newest corner business.

Kerr said his experience working for a wine and beer company in Florence for nine years has prepared him to open his own. As if planning to open a business during a global pandemic didn’t come with enough hurdles, the Bishopville native is expecting his first child in September with his wife.

“Starting a business is already a scary thing, and you throw this on top of it. It kind of made the big decisions and the scary things to open a business seem like not that big of a deal when you have a pandemic to deal with, so I think it’s kind of helped me in a very strange way,” Kerr said.

Sip Co. Wine & Beer features various craft beers from the Carolinas and other surrounding states, as well as a handpicked selection of wines. During the pandemic, Kerr opened a drive-thru for customers and has limited customers to two people inside while shopping. He has his beer and wine lists on the Sip Co. website as well as the business window.

“This is the cleanest, safest, easiest way to buy your beer and wine, otherwise you’d have to go to a superstore,” Kerr said.

He hopes to welcome many more people and plans to hire bartenders in the near future.

To visit the Sip Co. website and see its selection of beers and wines, click here.

Sip Co. Wine & Beer is open Monday-Saturday noon to 7 p.m. Its located at 116 N. Church Street in Lake City.

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