If you can get past the winos panhandling in the parking lot-Chi-Lake Liquor is a decent place to shop. They have good prices on beer and wine, and a large selection of harder spirits.
The location is well lit with wide aisles, which makes it easy to get in, get what you're looking for-and get out. They also accept credit cards, while many smaller liquor stores do not.
Unfortunately, the parking lot is usually a circus, and E. Lake Street is always a nightmare. But if the somewhat sketchy neighborhood makes you nervous, don't fear, an off-duty Mpls cop is always guarding the front door.