About

The Fridge began as a small 600 sq ft store and has emerged into Manhattans Home town success story. We love being part of the Manhattan community.

Our Story

The Fridge has been a Manhattan fixture since 2001. It has been voted a Top 100 retailer in the U.S by Beverage Dynamics (2020 and 2019) and named Retailer of the Year in 2017. Locally, The Fridge has been voted Best Liquor Store in Manhattan by the Manhattan Mercury for the past six years. It has also won the Purple Apple Award for top retail liquor store from the Kansas State Collegian for the past seven years.

The Fridge employs a staff of 30, with 10 staff members being full time and 20 part-time/ seasonal workers. They work hard to provide you, the customer with the biggest selection, best prices and highest quality service you have come to expect.

While we have grown a great deal since our modest beginnings as Franz White Liquor in 1992, The Fridge remains a Manhattan family owned and operated business. Current owner, Kevin Neitzel and his wife Beth, are KSU alums who have called Manhattan home since 1994. They, along with the rest of the Fridge family, would like to THANK YOU for supporting our small business and shopping local.

MEET

KEVIN NEITZEL

Welcome to the Fridge

Kevin has lived and loved Manhattan, Kansas since moving here in 1994. He attended Kansas State University and settled down in Manhattan following college with his wife, a local educator. They have three daughters together who keep them very active.

Kevin has worked in the liquor industry for over 20+ years. He strives to be the best and continues to work hard to bring forth his knowledge to his customers to give them the best experience while shopping at The Fridge. In addition to large retail customer base the store also serves over 90 local restaurants and bars with top shelf wine, spirits and beer.

Kevin Neitzel  | Owner, COO

The Team

Mike Phillips

Mike Phillips

Wine Buyer


Coming on board in 2015, Mike brought on years of experience branching across different facets of the liquor industry. He worked in the Manhattan restaurant scene, served as a distributor representative selling wine, as well as traveled the Midwest on the supplier side, gaining knowledge and experience along the way. Keeping the wine department clean, well-stocked, and all the newest wines on the shelf is what Mike strives for. Mike most enjoys spending time at home with his wife Kristin, and two daughters.

Larry Kelly

Larry Kelly

Wholesale / Sales Manager

Originally from Topeka, Larry joined The Fridge team in 2016 after working at Coco Bolos in Aggieville for 8 years. He is actively involved with making sure our customers have a great shopping experience as well as overseeing our on premise team. With over 14 years of bartending experience he really enjoys helping customers find the ideal ingredients for your favorite craft cocktail or tailgate concoction.

Ray Hanning

Ray Hanning

Beer & Tobacco Manager

Ray started as a beer merchandiser in the fall of 2013. With his love for beer and great customer service he quickly became our Beer department manager after receiving his Cicerone Server Certification for beer. Living in the Manhattan area since 1991, he sees many familiar faces roaming the aisle of the store. Ray really enjoys talking with customers about Beer but will always give great advice when it comes to Bourbons, Rums and Cigars. Ray is a staff member that you will see at the Fridge for many years to come.

Mike Schmidt

Mike Schmidt

Liquor Department / Office Manager

  

With over 8 years of retail liquor experience, Mike has amassed a wealth of knowledge in the beverage industry. Starting out as a merchandiser, he quickly worked his way into management, starting in the Wine Department and later moving into On Premise sales. Mike is currently the Liquor department / Office Manager, handling many of the day to day operations. Mike is more than happy to recommended a good scotch or talk about your favorite Whisky. The great coworkers and customers keep him excited for what is to come in the future.

 

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