Thursday, November 10, 2011

Which grocery stores in our neighborhood will carry liquor?

With the passage of Initiative 1183, where will residents of our neighborhood get that key ingredient for their holiday cheer?

And perhaps more concerning for some, where will the folks that hang out in front of the post office or lurk in hiding spots —and usually sip from a tall boy— get their now more accessible warming drink?

The apparent passage of 1183 has ended Washington State's near 80-year liquor monopoly. The results of the vote will likely shutter our own state-run liquor store on 15th Ave NE.

Liquor sales will shift to stores with more than 10,000 square feet. And as we know from the large number of shopping carts ditched regularly in our neighborhood, one does not have to go too far to find a large chain grocery store.

One thing that cannot be debated is that it can be difficult to purchase liquor at a state-run store.

The store on 15th Avenue NE closes at 7 p.m., and at 8 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays. It is closed on Sundays and major holidays.

Safeway is open 24 hours.

Also, state-run stores have a 94 percent compliance rate for selling to minors. The private sector, which can now only sell wine and beer, has a 77 percent compliance rate.

So where can we expect to see a new liquor aisle on June 1, 2012?

Grocery Outlet —3020 Northeast 127th Street— said they are over 10,000 square feet and meet the requirements but will not carry liquor. They currently carry a selection of wine and beer.

Safeway —12318 15th Ave. NE— said they will carry liquor in all of their stores in Washington State. They also helped bankroll Initiative 1183.

QFC —1531 Northeast 145th Street— said they have not received official word from their Kroger corporate offices yet but assume they will carry liquor

Fred Meyer —13000 Lake City Way Northeast— also part of the Kroger chain, contacted Thursday, also said no decision has been announced.

But considering the significant profit margins a grocer can make from liquor sales it is likely we will go from one liquor store in our corner of Seattle to at least three in our immediate area.

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