A dozen Centennial stores snapped up by Cheers Spirits
By February, 12 Centennial and Majestic liquor stores around Dallas-Fort Worth will become part of the Cheers Spirits & Liquor chain. "It's supposed to happen in the next couple of weeks," said an employee at a Majestic store in Fort Worth.
Cheers received permission this week from the Texas Alcohol and Beverage Commission to take over a dozen stores: six in Dallas County and six in Fort Worth. Cheers is a considerably smaller chain, with only four locations in Aubrey, The Colony, Crossroads and Roanoke.
Another dozen Centennial stores will remain part of their "core group" as the company moves out of its bankruptcy proceedings.
Cheers owner Peter "Woody" Kern told the Dallas Morning News that the stores will operate under the Cheers name.
Centennial filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in December; it owes more than $5 million to Glazer's and Republic, two liquor distributors. In its heyday, the chain had 70 stores in locations as far away as Lubbock. Its spiral began in 2009 after Lubbock, the last big dry town in Texas, turned wet, and Centennial became beaten down by competition.
Kern is a colorful figure who has been involved in a number of disparate businesses. In the '90s, he was a player in the nursing home business, owning 118 homes in different states and racking up fines and lawsuits for botched care. He owned arena football team the Tampa Bay Storm for 12 years before selling it in 2007, then bought the Dallas Vigilantes in 2010. The Vigilantes quietly dismantled in 2011.