Greater City Providence

Nikki’s Liquors seeks to move to Broadway


Many beer afficianados across southern New England are familiar with Nikki’s Liquors on the North Providence / Providence line. Nikki’s is famous for originating the Mix-a-six whereby one can make their own six pack by mixing together any six bottles of the craft beer varieties available.

Owned for the last 12 years by David and Michael Iannazzi, Nikki’s is now fixing to move to the old DePasquale Pharmacy Building on Broadway where they hope to expand their reputation for beer into the fine wine and spirits markets.

On their website about the new location, the owners explain:

  • An area where Nikki’s can become a neighborhood partner and an active part of the community; an area with complementary businesses that attract customers with similar tastes and interests; ease of access to downtown and the highways to further develop our status as a destination specialty shop for craft beer enthusiasts; and more physical space to handle our increasing selection.
  • The facilities provided by 319 Broadway meet all of our criteria. The larger physical size of this location will also provide space to hold craft beer educational classes and seminars. This location will allow us to continue our quest to expand on our vision of creating the most unique specialty craft beer/liquor boutique in the city.
  • We need your support. We believe that the proposed project will be a “win-win” situation for Nikki’s, local area businesses and the Broadway neighborhood community.

As a Federal Hill resident, all I can say is, I can’t wait!

Jef Nickerson

Jef is Greater City Providence's co-founder, editor, and publisher. He grew up on Cape Cod and lived in Boston; Portland, Maine; and New York before settling in Providence. In addition to urbanism, Jef is interested in art, design, and ice cream. Please feel free to contact Jef if you have any question or comments about Greater City Providence.


  • I’m all for it. I would suggest, however, that they make the store front windows bigger to have more of a presence on the street, and so it doesn’t look so much like a brick oven.

  • That DePasquale Pharmacy has sat vacant for far too long.. This is good news, except for me! I won’t be able to walk to Nikki’s anymore

  • I agree about the windows. However, they are seeking a use variance to open the store and probably don’t want to open the can of worms of altering the facade as well. Also, they seem to be self financing so the cost of any alterations would need to be considered. It is something they could do pretty easily later when they had time, money, etc.

    Maybe the could have some sort of rotating art installation or at least some interesting lighting on the blank walls. When the DePasquale Pharmacy signs come down, it makes the building look even more stark.

  • @ Dave C;

    I cannot agree more. I think the local historic district commission may have some insight into that (??) regarding design of their storefront.

    Blow out the windows right down towards the sidewalk. Install some decent awnings to blend in with the neighborhood within that block (Julian’s and Seven Stars?). Sidewalk planters, etc. Yes, I know it is making it look frou-frou, but the current appearance is boring and unfriendly.
    It’s a prominent corner – high visibility and plenty of pedestrian traffic (there being a designated crosswalk with yield-to-pedestrian signage present).

    Just my thoughts

  • If you are in favor of this move, Julian’s has a petition you should sign, especially if you live on Federal Hill. There is some vocal opposition to this plan, even though it would be nothing but a win for the neighborhood.

  • The window openings are probably determined by insurance policy rates. If they opened windows down to 12- or 18-inches above the sidewalk, they might have to install roll down gates. Roll downs could be the open transparent kind that are mounted inside the store. Other than the windows it’s a decent design.

  • Apparently, Broadway Liquors has a petition going around to try to stop this move. Personally, I think it’s a cowardly tactic, and one that makes me no longer want to go there. I don’t think that these two stores compete directly in all ways. If they can’t find a way to service their customers in a unique fashion, then it’s their own fault for not satisfying the desires of the neighborhood. If Nikki’s is capable of doing all the things they’re setting out to do, then more power to them. I’m sold.

  • I’d rather see, and I think the neighborhood is in desperate need of, a fresh fruit and veggie market and or pharmacy. I suppose anything is better than nothing? But then again, we do have Cigar’s by Stefan…

  • The building has been vacant for 6 years, during which time anyone with a business plan was free to lease it and open a vegetable market, no one did.

  • I think this is great. We need a good craft beer store in the city and I hate driving to the sprawltastic Shaw’s plaza. Their store up there is cramped for the wide selection of beers they stock, so it makes sense. Broadway at a glance looks like just another ghetto liquor store with the usual mass-produced adjunct lagers, malt beverages, and cheap booze. And I find it ridiculous (but not unexpected) that the cowards actually put out a petition to organize against a competitor rather than compete on their own merits. Good luck to Nikki’s!

  • Unfortunately, I won’t be going to Nikki’s with this move. Douglas Liquors on Mineral Spring Ave is the next closest liquor store to Nikki’s present location, and the selection there is adequate for me. It’s a shame, since I really enjoyed supporting a local business, but I can’t justify a trip across town…

  • Nikki’s will be pretty much exactly the same distance from me as they are now. I do have a closer liquor store that sells some of the same products… but I go to Nikki’s for 2 major reasons… first is the selection. No liquor store in the area has the same selection. There might be some overlap on craft beer, but nothing comes close to carrying all the brands that Nikki’s does. The other reason is the people. You’ll be hard pressed to find a store with such knowledgable, friendly staff. If I ever moved out of the city, I’d still make the trek to Nikki’s for beer. I support local businesses, but I prefer to support quality local businesses that care about the community – the local Providence community as well as the craft beer community.

  • Certainly any business that moves will lose customers it had at its old location. However, my understanding of Nikki’s customer base is that they are able to draw a regional crowd. They will find new customers on Broadway and being closer to the highways will allow their customers from out of town easier access to their store.

  • This will very likely mark the end for Broadway Liquors, but Nikki’s move will be a huge win for Broadway.

  • A for-profit business moving to Providence? I thought Providence wanted only non-profits, which don’t have to pay any of the sky-high taxes. But if Nikki’s buys the building, they can get a tax stabilization deal from Providence (the city seems to give them to anyone that asks). Then Nikki’s will pay so little in taxes they’ll look like a non-profit. What a great city, er, bankrupt city!

  • In the past the owners of the building have been uninterested in selling, only in leasing, but perhaps this has changed. I think this is a great location for Nikki’s and I wish them the best. Plenty of folks will still go down the street to Broadway Liquors.

  • It might cause Broadway to adjust their pricing. They are incredibly expensive compared to Tropical on Cranston ST which has a very similar selection. I think if Broadway focuses on cheap and lower end they could still do fine. Of course they also have new competition from Reyes on Westminster…

  • That’s the thing… they’re not really competing with Nikki’s for most of the products. They will absolutely do fine focusing on the cheap beer, wine, and liquor. Nikki’s doesn’t carry tons of cheap beer or malt liquor or even “higher end” 40’s. They don’t sell energy drinks or any of the products a standard, we’ll call it “urban”, liquor store carries. So if Broadway Liquors ends up going out of business, it’s because of the market as a whole, not Nikki’s. But if what I have heard about them and their petition is true, then it sounds like it won’t be a huge loss for the neighborhood.

  • Broadway does not need another liquor store. Nikki’s is brainwashing the public about what they are going to sell- no forty’s, no low end malt, etc, until the customer asks for it. It’s going to turn into just another liquor store, selling cheap beer,malts, and 40’s! The comments from Nikki’s sound racist to me, he states he is not going to carry the things that the black population typically purchase. By the way, I applaud Broadway Liquors for defending their business. They have been accomadating and friendly to me over the last 16 years, and they do carry everything, even Craft Beer! And if they don’t have it in stock, they will gladly order it for you. As far as the petition, you say it is cowardly for Broadway to circulate a petition, but it is alright for Julian’s to circulate a petition approving it. Also, several businesses have wanted to move into the Depasquale building over the last several years, and the owner refused all of them! As far as I am concerned Broadway has enough liquor stores in the area, we don’t need another one! All of you people are hypocrites, you say you want to support local businesses, what- by sabotaging an existing one! Nikki’s can stay out of our neighborhood!

  • Nikki’s currently does not carry those products and is asked for it all the time (as a regular customer, I’ve seen it). They simply tell the person “no, we don’t carry that”. Considering their currently location next to one of the projects in the city, they aren’t doing so bad… especially considering they’re funding all the necessary renovations themselves.

    Also, I am pretty sure the Julian’s petition was created in response to the Broadway Liquors one.

  • Went into Broadway Liq the other day and saw their petition. Apparently, the owner of Broadway Liq wanted to buy the old pharmacy building and move the business there. When the current owner of the pharmacy building wasn’t interested in having a booze shop, Broadway Liq still wanted to purchase the building and instead build out a deli and fresh produce market and the owner still wasn’t interested.

    Some booze for thought.

  • On another note. Never heard of Nikki’s, ever, before this thread. Just sayin’.

  • One last one. Totally agree with Jay. People seem to only want what they want on this blog and not necessarily what’s good and right for our neighborhoods and what makes Providence a city i.e. WASPY craft bear, shitty bike-lanes and trolleys to nowhere from nowhere. Disneyfication and gentrification at its worst; no real solutions only paint and pretty street-lamps.

  • Guess there’s nothing to say to that Jef. So, what’s the update on this Nikki thing anyway?

  • Hands down this is a win/win for the business and customers alike … No brainer here it’s 2012 and beer drinkers like myself want and “need” the variety and quality selection Nikki’s is known for! I have been a Federal Hill resident for 10 years and have been making the drive to the Shaw’s plaza since I discovered Nikki’s years back. Bottom line I will gladly patronize the Broadway location should it arrive.

    btw/ “WASPY craft bear, shitty bike-lanes and trolleys to nowhere from nowhere. Disneyfication and gentrification at its worst; no real solutions only paint and pretty street-lamps.”

    Really? Maybe you should move. What IS good and right for the city of Providence genius? What are your solutions? How does and what does a new liquor store have anything to do with bike lanes lamp posts or the like?

    I am pretty sure you can buy a forty at Nikki’s folks (bottom of the big bottle cooler at the back straight ahead when you walk in the door). Besides, there is always Tropical Liquors on Cranston St. (no one mentioned that) and it is less than 1 mile away. Fed Hill liquors is my go to currently, when not wanting to drive to Nikki’s – with Gasbarro’s as a close second if not for the limited hours.

    At the end of the day businesses come and go, some have staying power some don’t … look at local Providence bicycle shops for example 4 very different shops catering to different kinds customers with specific wants/needs. (R.I.P The Hub). Legend bike didn’t start a petition to keep Caster’s off Hope St. for example.

    My 2¢ –

  • I missed Liam’s post about Tropical … one added comment regarding racism … wouldn’t making a statement about what the “black population” typically buys be perceived as a racist statement in itself? People should just avoid the compulsion to make statements like that in general.

  • Those aren’t 40s in that cooler. They’re 22 oz bottles of beer you don’t usually see in bigger bottles. And if they are 40s, they’re not malt liquor. They’re just 40s of regular Budweiser or something (though I’m pretty sure they aren’t 40 oz bottles, I shop there regularly too).

    And you are correct. Stereotyping 40s and malt liquor as stuff the “black population” usually drinks is pretty racist.

  • correct~my mistake I guess they must’ve been buds or something at some point in the last couple years I just recall seeing 40’s at the bottom of that cooler at some point. I usually grab the BBC’s from there.

    People dredging up all these other city issues bothers me, I love how so many people in Providence complain about everything and often do nothing else but complain.

    While PVD is far from utopia there is a lot to be grateful for in this city.

    Cheers to that.

  • Nikki’s is on the Zoning Board of Review agenda (.pdf) for September 19th:

    JOHN P. AND JOAN ANN DEPASQUALE, OWNERS AND DMR ENTERPRISES, INC. D/B/A NIKKI’S LIQUORS, APPLICANT: 319-323 Broadway and 127 Vinton Street, Lots 615 and 505 on the Tax Assessor’s Plat 28, Lot 615 being located in a Residential Professional R-P Zone and Lot 505 being located in a Residential R-3 Three-Family Zone; pursuant to Section 200, the applicant is seeking a use variance for relief from Section 303-Use Code 57 to change the use of the existing building on Lot 615 to a liquor store and a special use permit for the required parking at Sections 701 and 703.2 pursuant to Sections 707 and 707.1 and Section 303-Use Code 64.1 to use the existing parking lot at 127 Vinton Street (Lot 505) to support the proposed new liquor store and residential parking. Additional relief is being sought from Section 607.2 for a dimensional variance for signage that would be expanded from eight (8) square feet to sixty (60) square feet (two, 30 square foot signs). Lot 615 contains approximately 4,290 square feet of land area and Lot 505 contains approximately 4,552 square feet of land area.

  • Nikki’s received approval to proceed. From their Facebook page:

    We got it!!!
    Sorry it took so long to post the results. They made us wait until after 1am for the decision. But it was worth the wait. 4 to 1 vote in favor of our use variance request. Huge thank you to all that came out tonight to show your support. I also want to thank everybody that signed the petition and helped us spread the word through Facebook and emails. We couldn’t have done it without you! We can’t wait to be your new neighbor and a part of your community. You guys ROCK!

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