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Ditching Its Salad Bar for Mountains of Booze Earned This Grocery Store Viral Fame

Out with the Russian dressing, in with the Russian vodka.

Anxiety about the spread of COVID-19 means it’s a bad time to be in the salad bar business. There might not be much in the way of scientific evidence that eating food can transmit the novel coronavirus, but it understandably still makes people nervous. On the other hand, it’s a great time to be in the booze business, with sales of wine, beer, and spirits up across the board.

So it made sense when a Missouri grocery store chain started replacing its signature salad bar offerings with lots and lots of alcohol, everything from jumbo beers to individual servings of liquor.

“We had originally put out other fresh foods, but it didn’t go over so well because everyone’s been stressed out,” said Rick Rodemacher, the store director of Dierbergs Markets’ Manchester, Missouri location, told NBC News.

Some of Rodemacher’s employees hatched the liquor bar idea, and he OK’d the idea to replace his store’s leafy vegetables, toppings, and salad dressing with adult beverages, crossing out the “salad” in the salad bar sign in the process.

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Naturally, a photo of the display promptly went viral on social media.

“At first we were worried that it wouldn’t come across the right way, but it’s been really well received,” said Rodemacher. And apparently even those who aren’t loading up their carts with libations are getting a kick out of the only-in-2020 sight.

“The sales are not nearly what the salad bar sales were,” Rodemacher said, “but bringing a smile to people’s face is worth it.”