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| Booze |

Argonaut toasts its new store

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It was hard to tell if the three homeless men gathered outside the brand-new Argonaut Wine & Liquor this morning were waiting for the store to open to the public or for Mayor John Hickenlooper, who was scheduled to arrive for the grand-opening ceremony.

Either way, they got what they wanted when Argonaut, which has been in business since 1965, christened its airy, well-lit and large new location at 760 East Colfax Avenue, right next door to the older, much smaller store. Staffers spent the weekend moving thousands of bottles and cans from one building to the other, cleaning and polishing the interior and exterior and figuring out where everything fit in.

Co-owner Ron Vaughn said he's proud of the feel of the new store. "Overall, customer reaction has been 100 percent on that," he that, pointing out the two-story brick interior, the open windows and wide aisles. Vaughn is the son-in-law of founder Hank Robinson, who was also at the grand opening.

Argonaut also has a partial second story with a temperature-controlled fine wine room and an area for tastings, as well as easy-to-read store directories and flat-screen TVs.

The place will celebrate all day today with contests, giveaways and other fun, including visits from liquor reps, a beer-chicken barbecue sponsored by Oskar Blues Brewery in Lyons, and a visit from the Budweiser Clydesdales.

It's like one giant cocktail party on Colfax. - Jonathan Shikes

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