New on Erie Blvd: Teen clothes, liquor store openings

Erie Boulevard between Thompson Road and Shoppingtown Mall is getting two more big retail draws.Plato's Closet is opening in the old Honeybaked Ham store. The actual opening is Saturday morning, but the store is already busy, with people selling clothes to the retailer. 'We pay cash on the spot, we're not a consignment store,' says franchisee Diane Joseph. They buy things no older than a year and a half, and that have labels , or are from stores appealing to teens.

Many of the goods have been worn just once or twice, says Joseph, by teens who decide they don't want it anymore. Buyers go over each piece to ensure its resale value. When we visited, people who were trying to buy what's already on racks were being turned away. Joseph says they expect people to camp out, to be in line when the doors open on Saturday.Pascale's Liquor Square is relocating to a plaza, in part of the old Maines store on Erie Boulevard, and its owners are thrilled with the parking and the accessibility of the new location. They were stocking shelves on Monday: Chuck Pascale plans to drive to Albany on Tuesday morning to pick up the liquor license, so they can open for business Tuesday afternoon.

The warehouse-look store has designer touches, like pale orange ceilings, designer shelving, and an acid-treated floor that is eye-catching. They expect to stock 4,000 bottles, more for the holidays, and may expand staff for the end of the year, as well.

Partner Brian Hughes says staff will help customers navigate the selections, including 'new' offers being brought back from sampling trips. The landmark yellow block-letter sign that still stands over the old store will come down. Pascale says he's contacting art students at SU to see if they can incorporate it in an art project.