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How the 209 plans to ring in the New Year

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Mike Morowit, owner of Miner Mart Liquors in Manteca.

HIME ROMERO/The Bulletin

POSTED December 24, 2011 2:13 a.m.

There is a week to go before we say good-bye to 2011.

It’s been a challenging year even for folks like Mike Morowit who are associated with good cheer.

Morowit for the past 17 years as the owner of Miner Mart Liquors behind the 7-Eleven on West Yosemite Avenue in Manteca has been the go-to-guy for hundreds of folks looking to toast a new year.

New Year’s Eve is a time when many splurge a bit - a bottle of bubbly, cognac or trying a label that is a cut or two above their regular favorites.

But no matter how one greets the New Year, Morowit hopes people keep one thing in mind.

“Be good to your family and stay healthy,” Morowit offered.

Morowit heeds his own advice. Although running a business is a seven-day affair he makes sure to work out to keep in shape. And while New Year’s Eve is one of the busiest days of the year for liquor stores, Morowit will do what he’s done in past years next Saturday. With 20 minutes left in 2011, he’ll head home to be there in time to toast in 2012 with his two daughters.

His daughters will sip Martinelli’s Sparkling Cider and he’ll hoist a glass of champagne.

“You’ve got to do champagne on New Year’s Eve,” Morowit said. “It’s tradition.”

Morowit doesn’t mind that 2011 will soon be passing. He’s held his own in the trying economy that has seen drinking drop off during the week although he said it “has been holding its own on weekends” in terms of sales. Casual drinkers in various surveys say they cut back when times are a bit more austere.

Besides spending time with family, Morowit said his idea of a “perfect way to celebrate New Year’s Eve” involves dinner and dancing in San Francisco preferably at a venue such as the Fairmont Hotel.

And what toast would he make on the hope it would come true for folks in 2012?

“I’d hope people looking for jobs will find jobs and that this will be a better year for everyone,” Morowit said.

—  Dennis Wyatt

managing editor

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