West Seattle businesses: QFCs apply for liquor permits

Been wondering if your favorite grocery store will sell liquor when privatization takes full effect? Since the initiative passed last November, we’ve been watching the liquor-license applications online to see when private retailers will start seeking licenses. This week, the first two in West Seattle have turned up: QFC is applying for “spirits retailer” licenses for the Junction and Westwood stores, part of a raft of permit applications for many QFC stores around the county (we only monitor King County applications, so we don’t know about the rest of the region). Fred Meyer stores, owned by Kroger like QFC, also are seeking “spirits retailer” licenses, including the closest one to West Seattle (1st Avenue South in Burien). Private retail sales of liquor will be legal in our state starting June 1st.

22 Replies to "West Seattle businesses: QFCs apply for liquor permits"

  • coffee January 27, 2012 (12:22 pm)

    I know that there was coverage about this, but I cannot remember the answer, the existing state stores, such as the new one next to QFC, they are for sale, correct? I would think that it would be difficult to sell a store such as that location with a store in the same building offering the same products.
    You can also tell that the state is not stocking as much. When I was in the Westwood store last week it seemed like there was a much lower amount of stock on the shelves.

    • WSB January 27, 2012 (12:39 pm)

      The state is directed to sell them. Thought it was ironic, upon taking a quick errand run a little while ago, that indeed, the first two private stores to apply are both a stone’s throw away from state liquor stores. – TR

  • amalia January 27, 2012 (1:10 pm)

    I hope the people working there get some help finding new jobs. It’s terrible the way people (mostly right-leaning) talk about reducing “government” as if it wasn’t real people working as hard as anyone else.

  • Lorelee January 27, 2012 (1:47 pm)

    Like my HS teenage daughter says- the boys are looking forward to having liquor in stores- much easier to lift than beer!

  • Jeff January 27, 2012 (1:52 pm)

    I hope we get a BevMo, and they get jobs there.

  • Anne January 27, 2012 (2:45 pm)

    Maybe the liquor will have those secuity caps-like they do in the California grocery stores. that have to be removed by the cashier-or will set off an alarm.

  • Andrew Beck January 27, 2012 (2:46 pm)

    The state is directed to sell the stores. However, most of the stores they don’t actually own. I’m pretty sure they don’t own the junction store, they just lease the space. There’s no way they can legally force the owner of the building to lease the store to someone who wants to keep it as a liquor store.

    If it does remain a liquor store, I don’t think they’d have a hard time competing with QFC at all. The Beer Junction and Bin 41 seem to compete with QFC just fine on beer and wine. The key is going to be carrying stuff that QFC doesn’t. They’ll need to carry locally distilled products, small batch bourbons, scotches, rums, and the like. They aren’t going to be able to compete with QFC on the price of a liter of Smirnof, but chances are QFC is not going to carry Old Gran Dad 114 or Elmer T. Lee Bourbon.

  • JimmyG January 27, 2012 (2:49 pm)

    Yes! Can’t wait to buy my booze at the same time as getting my groceries.

  • MFCEO January 27, 2012 (3:50 pm)

    Amalia- government employees cannot be considered equal to those of the private sector. Employees of the private sector regularly face the risk of layoffs and employment termination if they are not competitive with others in their industry. Welcome to reality.

  • cr January 27, 2012 (4:12 pm)

    If kids want to get their hands on alcohol, they will. They’re getting it now when it is in liquor stores, and they will get it when it’s in grocery stores. And yes, lets blame those right leaner’s for trying to reign in that $700 million deficit we have.

  • Fiwa Jcbbb January 27, 2012 (4:26 pm)

    This is classic free-enterprise making everything better! Yay! Those socialist liquor store employees were making an almost-livable…what $15 an hour? Now, if they can find jobs, they’ll be getting the much-too-high job-killing minimum wage, which hopefully will go way down once President Gingrinch declares martial-free-market law and redirects the excess to the CEO class who truly are better than us and deserve every penny. Oh boy I hope they’ll invite me over to the mansion for a glass of several-cents-a-bottle cheaper single malt. I know statistically I’ll probably never be truly rich, but I sure do admire those who are for all their hard work, smartness, connectedness, luck, money, tax breaks, and job creating ski-illz. I hope more hard-working peons can be paid less in the future. God bless America’s wealthy.

  • GetReal January 27, 2012 (4:49 pm)

    Plain and simple, government employees should not be selling liquor ….. or peddling lottery tickets, etc. for that matter. Yes, these are critical sources of tax revenues. But these are businesses that should be regulated by government, not run or owned by government. I am not a conservative, by any stretch. But government should focus on critical services, such as education, transportation, and policing — and stocking Scotch and tequila are not the same.

  • frank January 27, 2012 (5:57 pm)

    @MFCEO don’t know if you’ve been paying attention lately, but it seems that state employees also face the risk of layoffs and employment termination.

  • MFCEO January 27, 2012 (9:24 pm)

    @frank- I have noticed that. They are being laid off and facing termination because of redundancy and inefficiencies. This is the first step that needs to be taken in saving our government from financial collapse. The problem with our governmental budgets is not an income problem; it is an expense problem. When you have issues within your own household, monetarily-wise, what do you do? You cut expenses. Income cannot be controlled, but expenses can. These employees being laid off are being laid off because we cannot afford them.

  • CD January 28, 2012 (7:51 am)

    I believe that in order for a retailer to be able to sell liquor once this goes into effect, the building has to be over a certain amount of square footage. So some of the previous liquor stores that are leased may not qualify if they are too small. I am sure the financial backers (big box stores) of this new bill realized that if everbody could sell liquor in their stores no matter how small, it would defeat the purpose of them spending the ridiculous amount of money that they did on advertising and such.
    As a adult who enjoys the occasional adult beverage, of course the convenience will be nice. I do hope for the safety caps as well. When people steal it drives up costs and that would defeat the purpose.
    As a bartender, this is good for the small business. The liquor board will still exsist and make sure permits are acquired and rules are being folllowed. However the government can no longer tell my business HOW to buy my liquor. We are required to purchase from a specific liquor store, and if we want quantity, there is no price break. Unless they make a law that says we have to get it at a big box store (careful!) we can CHOOSE to develop working relationships directly with the distributors that will create savings for us! Now at least we can pass savings on to our customers in our small neighborhood tavern where locals meet to relax and talk about life. And then they can take that money they saved from patronizing my business and spend it at another business!
    As far as displaced workers Costco is giving priority to people that were working for the liquor stores to fill their needs as they incorporate the liquor into their stores. As I am sure that other stores that will be selling liquor are going to need to hire people as well.

    –FIWA– As a person who generally has walked the min wage line off and on for my short 16 years in the labor force so far, I agree that the constant raising is in the long run detrimental on many levels! A discussion for another day I’m sure. I just wanted to comment on that remark as I don’t hear many (or anybody really!) acknowledge this topic!

  • M January 28, 2012 (8:37 am)

    When I was in high school I used to buy booze right from the WSLC store in White Center. They never carded me. They didn’t care.

  • Tracy White January 28, 2012 (8:47 am)

    “It’s terrible the way people (mostly right-leaning) talk about reducing “government” as if it wasn’t real people working as hard as anyone else.”

    I didn’t vote for the liquor law, nor am I right leaning (I’m an independent) but let’s turn your statement around a bit and see how it floats.

    “It’s terrible the way people (mostly left leaning) talk about raising “taxes” as if it wasn’t real people losing money they could spend or save for other things.”

    There’s two signs to every coin.

  • Brian M. January 28, 2012 (11:59 am)

    @Tracy White: Will you marry me? ;)

  • Mickymse January 30, 2012 (11:59 am)

    @MFCEO… NO, state employees are not all getting laid off “because of redundancies and inefficiencies.”
    The state is taking in less money and so they are CUTTING services. That means fewer people getting support for health care, less resources to educate our children, our streets and bridges falling apart, and more.

    It makes me angry that some citizens seem to think that government has grown out of control just because expenses have gone up faster than inflation. In case you weren’t paying attention, we have added so many new residents to the state that we were given an additional congressional district!

  • MFCEO February 1, 2012 (4:45 pm)

    @Mickymse- They are cutting non-essential services. Is selling liquor an essential service of government? Where has it ever been stated that this is essential to running a proper society? Liquor should be regulated, without question, but since when was the retail sale of liquor a function of government.

    How should expenses rise faster than inflation? That is completely illogical. The cost of services should be dropping while we become more efficient at them over time. The reason that they are increasing at a rate greater than inflation is a problem with how we are spending our resources. If we were more frugal with our expenses, we would be able to have more affordable services.

    You are looking at this problem at too much of a micro- level, when truly, it’s a macro- problem. A simple class in macroeconomics would do you good. Yes our state income has gone down due to lost jobs and economic uncertainty, but what is causing these jobs to be lost? One could look at our minimum-wage level as one cause (lower minimum wage increase the number of employees a small business could hire). One could also look at the state getting into certain programs that do not make fiscal sense (trying to require teachers to enter a state-run, more expensive health insurance pool).

    I’ll let you live in your bubble where we can keep all these services and continue building our debt, but in all reality we need to be cutting expenses…on a personal and statewide level.

    A little reading for your enjoyment:


  • Drew February 15, 2012 (8:06 pm)

    This is such a horrible idea.

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