The state-contracted liquor store in Tremonton will reopen before the holidays in a new location and with new operators.

Patti and Shane Glover, owners of Sofa’s Corner, a bar in nearby Garland, were awarded the contract Tuesday from the Utah Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control (DABC).

The new operators plan to move the liquor store to 15 N. 1600 East, a building residents refer to as the Cross Roads. Originally a fast-food restaurant and later used as an auto dealership, the building will allow for more inventory than the previous location at 140 E. Main, said Patti Glover, who will manage the store.

Liquor shipments from the DABC warehouse should be at the new store by mid-December, in time for residents to buy alcohol for the Christmas and New Year holidays, DABC officials said.

The state liquor department shut down the previous Tremonton store in September after routine audits showed a string of money losses. Robert McLachlan, the absentee owner of the store, reimbursed the state for the missing funds, which totaled at least $13,000.

McLachlan had operated the package agency in Tremonton for 30 years, but went into “semi-retirement” recently, hiring employees to manage and run the store.

The DABC received eight proposals to reopen the Tremonton store. Staff narrowed the field to three finalists, who made presentations to the liquor commission.

In awarding the contract, the commission was adamant it go to someone who lived in the area, understood the community and who had business experience.

“It’s particularly important that the person be in the area,” said Commissioner Thomas Jacobson. “We need to have a community member that represents the DABC well.”

Utah has more than 120 state package agencies, which are privately run outlets in towns too small to warrant a full-sized, state-owned store. Operators get monthly payments from the state based on sales volume. Package agencies also are located in breweries, wineries and distilleries, as well as in resorts and hotels where the outlets exist primarily for the benefit of their guests.