Sam Bernstein Liquors

Liquor Store

Assembly Street
Columbia, SC

FAMILIES: Bernstein

Samuel “Sam” Keith Bernstein (1888-1951) established Sam Bernstein Liquors at 1007½ Assembly Street in Columbia around 1945. He immigrated to South Carolina from Poland in 1906 and married Russian immigrant Bessie Weinstein (1893-1968) ten years later. After working as a shopkeeper in a Summerville fruit shop, Sam opened his own dry goods store in Charleston, South Carolina and started a family with Bessie. Around 1924, he moved to Lexington County with his family and established Sam Bernstein Dry Goods Company in Swansea. After much of his merchandise was destroyed in a block fire in December 1929, Sam briefly opened his third dry goods store at 926 Gervais Street in Columbia before opening New Market Café at 1007 Assembly Street around 1943. In 1945, he applied for a liquor license and opened Sam Bernstein Liquors within a year. Sam managed the store until his death in 1951. His son Isadore (1922-2010) closed the store the following year.

Main Image: Sam Bernstein’s liquor license application notice. Reprinted from The State, February 21, 1945.

The Jewish Merchant Project is supported by the generosity of the Henry & Sylvia Yaschik Foundation and the Stanley B. Farbstein Endowment at the Coastal Community Foundation.

JHSSC Office
Sylvia Vlosky Yaschik Jewish Studies Center
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Phone: 843 953 3918