(Courtesy photo by Dianna L. Harvill)
By KREIG KOHL
Special to the PRESS
Laguna Vista, along with the South Padre Island Chamber of Commerce, welcomed a new business to their city on Friday, July 29. The ribbon cutting for Johnny’s Liquor Cabinet occurred at 1 P.M. that afternoon.
The Laguna Vista location is their second location, the first being opened in 2019 in Mcallen.
Johnny Dillon opened the store after working in construction for 20 years. On a job he was working in 2017 and 2018, his father came to see him.
“My dad, John Dillon Sr., came by and saw how challenging and dangerous construction in these older buildings was,” said Dillon.
The two began talking about creating something less dangerous and recession proof, especially after having to rebuild from scratch as a result of the recession in 2008.
“Long story short, the first location was a disaster. I was still trying to figure out how to run a store in a location that really was not ready for a liquor store, not in an area that was easily seen, and when you did turn around to go back, you drove by all my competitors,” said Dillon.
Dillon closed the store and stored his extra stock as he was required to. During this time, his mother pointed out a location in Edinburg she had found. After joking that he could just hold onto the liquor and have enough for an entire lifetime, he called the number for the location.
“My mom, Ruth, didn’t let me stop or give up on anything in my life,” said Dillon.
The store continued to do well, but like many other businesses, it took a hit during the Covid-19 pandemic. A tragedy struck the family.
“I lost my Dad to it [Coronavirus] and it brought more meaning to the store than ever. Johnny’s Liquor Cabinet was my dad’s idea,” said Dillon.
While striving to improve the store and fulfill his father’s dream, Dillon welcomed his daughter into the world and found himself pushing to make something she can be proud of.
He has always tried to make the Edinburg location of Johnny’s Liquor into a singular outstanding establishment. Making sure that it was clean and smelled great while providing a one of a kind service with knowledgeable staff, he aimed to give the best customer service possible.
As well within their TABC requirements, the company wholesales liquor to other license holders like bars and restaurants, for as he said, “providing an even greater experience to share other brands for the community to enjoy while at their favorite bar or restaurant.”
According to Dillon, Laguna Vista was perfect for his new location of Johnny’s Liquor.
“It’s the sweet spot of the area, not too far from South Padre Island, SpaceX, and close enough to enjoy Golf. You can have a tight knit community with a small town feeling, but still have room to grow into a large city,” said Dillon.
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