Alumnus Best of Huntsville 2015 first-time winner

Lone Star Liquor has been voted as the best liquor store in Huntsville for 2015, the first year for the category.

Sean Smith | The Houstonian

Sean Smith | The Houstonian

Store owner and Sam Houston State University alumnus David Mulligan has been working in the business for 15 years and takes pride in knowing that his store has been rated as the top liquor store in town.

“I’m happy to hear that we ranked the highest,” David Mulligan said. “When I started working in a liquor store while I was a college student in the early 1990s, I remember that my boss always stressed the importance of customer service. I try to instill that in my current employees and encourage them to welcome people with a smile and give them the hometown hospitality that they may be missing in other places.”

David Mulligan graduated from SHSU in 1995 with a degree in criminal justice. While he was in college, he was introduced to his first job in the liquor business. After only two years of working, his manager gave him a proposition that helped him decide what he wanted pursue as a career.

“When I first started working in the liquor business I really enjoyed it,” David Mulligan said. “The man that owned the store that I worked for also worked for the prison system. I started working for him and didn’t know things like the sizes of the bottles but in about two years he offered to let me manage the place. I loved learning about the aspects of running a business. I knew that I enjoyed learning about criminal justice, but I realized then that my passion was always going to be opening up my own business.”

After graduating, David Mulligan moved back to his hometown of Houston and worked for a wine company. After working at the company for a year and feeling dissatisfied with his job, he started to look for opportunities to get back to Huntsville.

In 1997 he had his chance when he met a man who was looking to sell his liquor store and offered to sell it to David Mulligan. The store shut down five years later.

However, David Mulligan then established Lone Star Liquor 1 in 2002 and Lone Star Liquor 2 in 2005. Since then Lone Star Liquor has become a successful business that sells its product to all of the bars and restaurants in Huntsville, putting it on top over other liquor stores in town.

“I think what makes us different from all the other stores are that we are the only liquor business in town that has a wholesale license and is able to sell liquor to so many different bars and restaurants,” David Mulligan said. “We make an average of five to ten deliveries a day and also have the ability to deliver alcohol to any event in town that wants it. We also provide alcohol to seminars on campus that need our product to use as an example to discuss the effects of alcohol on the body and how much it takes to become impaired.”

Along with running a business that supports Huntsville’s liquor supply, David Mulligan also has a wife and two daughters. His wife, Leah Mulligan, Ph.D., is the executive director of campus activities and leadership Initiatives.

Leah Mulligan received her bachelor’s degree in psychology in 2000 and her master’s degree in counseling in 2002, both from SHSU. She also graduated with her Ed.D in Higher Education in 2011.

The Mulligans support events for SHSU student activities as well as charitable organizations like the Boys and Girls Club in Huntsville. David Mulligan said his family’s future plans are to stay in Huntsville and enjoy the town and people who live here and continue to provide excellent customer service through his stores.

“There is no real secret that I have to running a successful business,” David Mulligan said. “It all comes down to hard work and dedication. The best part of owning this business is the idea of being my own boss and not having to answer to a lot of people. My family and I love Huntsville and we have no plans to leave any time soon.”

Lone Star Liquor is open from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Saturday and has two locations: 4004 Sam Houston Ave. and 975 state Highway 190.

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