Have Wine, Will Travel: What It’s Like Delivering Spirits During The Pandemic
When Logan Beaver arrives at your door, you’re probably pretty happy to see him. That’s because the 26-year-old’s usually delivering an order from Financial District Wine & Liquor, a Downtown standby for wine and spirits at 120 Nassau Street. Up until a few months ago, Beaver was a jack of all trades at the store. After his commute from Harlem, Beaver’s usual routine included making deliveries, fulfilling orders from the store app and for catered events, stocking shelves and assisting walk-in customers. Since stay-at-home orders went into effect, however, the workday has changed considerably.
“It’s a bizarre world — not too many folks are on the street,” Beaver told the Downtown Alliance. “Most of our business has switched to a delivery model. We used to spend most of the day helping customers in the store.”
Still, the store has remained open seven days a week during the pandemic. Foot traffic hasn’t diminished entirely, but it’s apparent that the new normal has taken its toll. “I get people talking my head off at the register because they haven’t talked to anyone in weeks,” Beaver said. Not that he minds. Chatting with customers is one of the things he loves about his job. He especially enjoys palling around with staff from neighboring NewYork-Presbyterian Lower Manhattan Hospital when they’re shopping.
“We joke that they specialize in physical health and we specialize in mental health,” Beaver said.
Another thing he loves is how accommodating the job is to his musical ambitions. Beaver, a talented jazz musician, moved to New York City three years ago from Richmond, Virginia, with his girlfriend, a vocalist, to pursue careers in music. According to Beaver, it’s not uncommon for him to leave a shift with his keyboard on a dolly and a saxophone in his bag “to go play at an open mic at the Nuyorican,” the performing-arts cafe in Alphabet City.
As you can imagine, Beaver anticipates the day he can perform and enjoy live music again. He’s just hoping the venues can survive the shutdown. (His second job, at a rehearsal space in Gowanus, dried up a few weeks ago because of stay-at-home orders.) Jazz performance depends on a certain ambiance, but it will be a while before those joints can be packed with people again. “It’s really scary,” Beaver admitted. “I hope we can get the funding to keep those spaces alive.”
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